You Have to Collect the Dots Before You Join Them

To innovate you need insight

You need to know stuff, how things work, how people think, what makes the world tick

As you collect ideas, concepts, thoughts, insights in your head then gradually connections will start to form, you will start to see new possibilities and create new things, you will innovate

A precursor to innovation is insight

And most organisations aren’t very good at gaining insight.  Let me give you an example:

Imagine an organisation is interested in speed (most organisations are), the speed at which they can launch software, or deliver products or treat patients.  Speed is fairly important in business

To innovate and create speed they need to gain new insights, get some new ideas.  How do they do that?

  • They read the Harvard Business Review
  • They buy a book on Lean or Agile techniques
  • They employ some consultants

Then they know plenty, then they can innovate, then is the time to act… or so most organisations think… and that is when they stop their quest for insight…

But what if you could take your insight gathering just a little further?  Who else knows about speed?

  • You could visit a news room, the BBC turn-around new stories every day, that’s fast
  • You could have a chat with Hans Kammerlander, he is in the record books as the fastest man to climb Mount Everest
  • You could visit a Formula One team, they could show you something about speed
  • Or how about looking at the Hadron Collider, they are busy sending protons under the alps at approaching the speed of light

I don’t know what you would learn about speed if you talked to any or all of these guys, but I do know you would learn something

And you will have far far more insight than most organisations ever dream of, they thought they had learnt everything when they employed the consultants

You have to collect the dots first and then…

you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future ~ Steve Jobs

Insight is all about collecting the dots

Read another opinion

Image by whitney waller


  1. HEllo James
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and got great value out of it. Thanks for writing it. I also tweeted it so hopefully more people will get value out of your work here.


  2. Hi James,
    Not sure I agree with the speed bit. I agree that most companies are interested in it but for the wrong reasons.

    Makes me think of the saying: “More haste, less speed”


Speak Your Mind