The Lizards of Invention: An innovation strategy
One of the most prolific innovation processes I ever implemented was this: the Lizards of Invention – loosely named after Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention , except cold-blooded!
- There’s five important components:
1. Build an idea-capture funnel
2. Schedule an incubation period
3. Discuss under pressure
The recipe: assemble a team of self-selected creative individuals (5 is a good crowd). Book a regular weekly meeting (1 hour – max). Aim for noon Monday – avoid Friday. From the “idea funnel” assign an idea for next week. Discuss the idea in rotating rounds – preferably three times around. Lizards can also show sketches and graphics…audio too! Spend 45 minutes on this. The team then spends 10 minutes to synth the discussion into an elevator pitch for the idea. The last 5 minutes – pitch the next idea.
The Lizard leader then gathers and documents the “stuff”. Publish the work for review – that’s where wikis make it easy because the Lizards can add and update when needed.
Sometime you lay eggs. Sometimes a great notion!