The innovation journey is rarely a straight shot. It’s not as simple as executing a great idea. Even if you have a great idea, you’re mostly likely not going to get from point A to point B in a linear and simple path. It’s always much harder than you think and your path is littered with unforseen roadblocks, barriers, and constraints.

The innovation journey looks like how a sailboat travels through the ocean.

Because the sailboat depends wind to move forward, the sailboat has to travel in a crisscross pattern. As the wind direction changes, the sailboat must redirect the sail to respond to the new direction of the wind.

Similarly, we need to “change direction” or pivot when we discover a shift in the wind or we find out that our business model assumptions are incorrect.

Sailboat

The wind is the engine. You need to respond and take advantage of the wind, not fight against it. Change is inevitable. Both internal and external. Yet, we don’t criticise the wind when it shifts direction. It’s is what it is. The question is whether or not we will shift with the wind.

The engine on your boat will take you only so far, but it will fail once you depleat your fuel reserve. You need to rely on the wind instead of fighting against it.

Your journey will most likely take numerous pivots and changes in your direction. The more pivots you make, the faster you will get to your destination.

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