No slack-off time = no innovation.

Most of us work too many hours trying to keep on top of our to-do lists. How many have time to think? Let alone thinking, reflecting or reading up on new things. Or exploring new things, new approaches, trying out a new gadget.

Google builds in slack time within work time with their 70-20-10 rule – 70% on work work, 20% on work-related “play”, and 10% on completely non-work-related “play.”

As more businesses move towards leaner practices, where 8 people can do the job of 10, are we not exacerbating this problem? How do we facilitate and enable more innovation in business practice WITHOUT creating more free time? The primary intention of most businesses is to reduce cost and increase revenues in the shortest time span possible. This is incompatible with trying to learn to be more innovative, which requires a longer action period.

Maybe most businesses can’t and don’t want to be more innovative?

Maybe it is increasingly impractical for most businesses to try and be more innovative.

If this were the case, how can innovation providers respond? Perhaps instead of teaching businesses to be more creative, we should be selling targeted creative solutions to businesses.

Here’s an analogy: Most people are too busy to bake their own bread at home. So bakeries provide the specific desired outcome with minimal fuss. Maybe someone can invent an innovation machine? Perhaps this is actually a new service business model… More in the next post.