Do not be afraid to rearrange the rules to allow freedom for the miracle of innovation.
For years, a camera captured pictures on film. The pictures could not be seen until the film was developed. Then a new camera was introduced that allowed users to see pictures within seconds of when it was taken.
Even though that technology has been eclipsed by digital technologies, it remains a novel application—not a contradiction—of the rules of film developing.
How does it work? A carefully prepared process is housed in each frame of a pack of film so that individual pictures can be developed as desired. The rules of photography are upheld, but they have been rearranged in a distinctively creative way.
The need of the previously required dark room to develop the film was satisfied by providing a chemical coating of an opacifier dye that spreads a white coating over the picture protecting it from light exposure. To reverse the light protection when the picture is fully developed, alkaline chemicals are released.
The law of color development is maintained by mixing the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. Dye developers released onto the film allow colors to appear and to be immobilized as needed. All this innovation and creativity, along with several new compounds developed just for this film, combine to create the miracle called instant photography.
Polaroid film worked within a contained set of rules but still allowed flexibility. It was not restrained by strict regulations but instead gave each picture the capability to develop in its own creative sphere. Every picture followed the same developing procedure, but in its own individual way. A good team will capture the picture from the “Polaroid Miracle” and learn the difference between developing and regulating.
“Following the rules” does not mean that your group should be restricted to merely creating old copies using old established rules and traditions. Instead, your team needs to see beyond the traditional. Polaroid took an entirely new approach that still followed the traditional “rules” of developing film. Lead your teammates to a new level of innovation. Help them break the mold. A successful team is not afraid to rearrange the rules to allow freedom for the miracle of innovation.
A few tips:
- Consider the current set of unwritten and accepted rules that seem to govern your organization.
Notice the unspoken barriers and limitations that restrict new ideas.
- Encourage your team to break out of the old molds by looking at new patterns and combinations. This will allow you to begin your path toward new discoveries.