Analogies, metaphors and your problem

Innovation is often the act of taking something that worked over there and using it over here.

Your problem, whatever it might be, probably has a solution somewhere in the world. And your organization is probably stuck because they don't know what to do, and more important, don't have the guts to do it.

An example in the real world that's precisely about your particular problem, then, is fabulous because it not only shows you what to do, it gives you the confidence to do it.

Louis CK had the same problem of many comedians–too much time, not enough money. His pay-on-the-honor-system internet special was a huge success, and of course, dozens of comedians (ostensibly creative risk takers) rushed to follow in his precise footsteps.

What were they waiting for? After all, Radiohead did a similar thing years before Louis did. Of course, they make music and he makes comedy.

"Oh, that's a fine example of how a company in the hockey stick industry grew, but we make lacrosse sticks. Do you have any case studies of how a lacrosse stick company has succeeded?"

If you're waiting for a proven case study, directly on point, you're going to wait too long.

The skill, it seems, is having the desire and the guts to seek out examples by analogy instead of insisting on being a follower of someone with guts.