Two talented people who have nothing in common are more likely to create something exciting than two talented people who think the same way. Harmony is overrated. Innovation is about bringing together individuals with diverse strengths who can push against each other and build something collaboratively that they never would’ve come up with on their own. Innovation happens when there is constructive conflict, or positive tension, within an organization–not total agreement.
The Innovation Genome is a creative map of organizational dynamics that tells us how competing talents and seemingly opposing worldviews can come together to promote growth. The building blocks of the Innovation Genome are four competencies–four types of value that your organization can pursue: COMPETE,COLLABORATE, CREATE, and CONTROL. On the surface, these values are at odds with each other. But once you understand the way they work, you can use them strategically to jumpstart innovation.
The COMPETE, or blue, kind of value represents a Darwinist approach that focuses on competition where the strong prevail at the expense of the weak. This approach represents the drive toward goals and the endgame of power, money, fame, and other tangible forms of success.
The COLLABORATE, or yellow, kind of value is the opposite of COMPETE. Where the COMPETE approach celebrates an aggressive, often cutthroat spirit, the COLLABORATE approach strives for connection, harmony, and togetherness. This approach represents human relationships, the identification with family and clan, and the greater good of Man.