Friday, April 15
Us, Ws, Ms and Overscores
In recent days I met up over coffee with Roland Hardwood, co-founder of 100% Open. Amongst a hundred or so other interest thoughts we shared, one in particular stood out as blog-worthy:
We talked about the U-shaped curve of individual reward (Y-axis) against time (X-axis), as an innovation progresses from concept through to implementation.
For many so-called creative types this is certainly a good representation, with the real enjoyment occurring firstly in the initial formation of the embryonic idea, and then later in the form of pride when the idea has gone public in a usable form. (A strong bias in the right-hand side of the “U” might reveal a tendency for celebrity!) For “U-shaped” people, the period between these two peaks is dull or unrewarding by comparison.
I’d also like to cover three more profiles which have occurred to me since that conversation:
Firstly there’s the “W”—someone who gets most reward the same way as the “U”, but who can also contribute energetically to ensuring that the idea passes one or more hurdles en route to implementation. A “W”-shaped sponsor can provide invaluable, and it’s sometimes easier than you might imagine to find and cultivate one.
Then there’s the “M”—someone who is visibly blasé about an supposedly exciting concept or about its ultimate adoption by its consumers, but is passionate about the main body of process in between. Often the “M” is a project manager who takes immense pride in efficient implementation, almost irrespective of the content being delivered.
I’ve met several “Ws”, and it might surprise readers of this blog that I’ve also met many “Ms”. Perhaps the “Ms” are a quirk peculiar to my native industry.
I’ve heard the legends of “Overscores”, but I don’t think I’ve met one in the flesh. If you’re luckily enough to find any “Overscores” on your payroll, I’d suggest doing whatever you can to keep them entertained. If they’re discerning in selecting the right ideas at the concept stage, they could well prove to be important engines of improvement for your organisation.