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Alternatives


Choice is a good thing. But it is rare that alternatives are ever fully explored. I think it has something to do with the speed at which we are expected to get to the answer. Time is money and the clock is ticking. How could I ever explore alternatives?

The power of the alternative is not really in the choice, but in the formulation. For whatever alternative is chosen is it because the other alternatives have made it the strongest. We know why we chose it. We know why we passed on the others. And we made a calculated risk that THIS is the one.

Its why in brainstorming we release the guardrails, going for quantity so that we have a pile to choose from. Its why in prototyping, we develop the most promising alternatives in parallel so that as some fade, others continue on the journey. And its why in PDSA that many tests are planned so that well developed solutions may emerge. Placing all the eggs in one basket is simply poor practice.

So this blog celebrates the alternatives; the conscience push to have several pathways to choose from, and then REALLY choosing the smartest one.

NOTE: you might be scratching your head wondering how the heck did he get on the “alternative” tangent? Well, I just finished reading “Thirteen Days” by Robert F. Kennedy. It is the story of alternative development in the extreme…and I just couldn’t help but see the connection to the world of innovation. It’s a great read.

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