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Towards WE & BEYOND – Impressions from a shared journey Part IX

Another discovery on our journey of learning more and more about how to deal with complexity …

When first the idea of writing a book together came up, we – both having witnessed the transition from technology push driven innovation to demand (customer / end-user-pull) driven innovation – concluded that one of the first steps to do was to find a publisher. So we worked on our content flow, on the target reader, thought about who possible and desirable publishers might be, and finally wrote a proposal that we shared with our shortlist of four publishers. None of them really got the idea, had time to look into it. It was obviously not mainstream; it did not really fit into a “box”; it did not serve an “explicit market need”.

What a surprise!

When we then met for some quality face-to-face time early January, we had a good laugh about this and realised that what we were facing was the PIONEER DILEMMA: If you talk about something new in the old language you loose its essence, if you describe the new with a new language, nobody understands what you want to say… Dorothea had described this first in a case study about introducing a disruptive innovation theme into a big global business unit (see below). She visualised the situation with the “truck-jungle metaphor”

What does that have to do with the negative response of the publishers?

Well, in our demand driven world publishers, like any other businesses, survive with creating products (books) that serve explicit needs of known customers (readers). So they are very good at bringing many “boxes” via tried and tested avenues to known customers, serving known and understood needs, with existing products and incremental innovation. However, only limited growth will be possible pursuing these avenues and we are travelling on roads that are crowded with traffic. If we are facing a new CREATION or breakthrough innovation the situation is different: the creator / innovator / pioneer feels that there is new land worth reaching, if only we can cut a path to it! The challenge is, where and how to cut the path? What is the way through the jungle ? How to build a path, then a street, sometimes bridges or tunnels …?

Facing this dilemma and realising that we seem to be on a jungle tour, we decided to trust our internal motivations and follow our intuition, documenting the cutting of the path in this blog.

Our ninth insight: If you face the Pioneer Dilemma trust your internal motivation and follow your intuition. Both will guide you through the complexity of any jungle.

p.s. for those who are interested to read more about Dorothea’s experience of introducing a disruptive innovation theme into a large, global organisation here a link to the case study.

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