Why is it that the book is almost always better than the movie? Is it because the ambiguity of the text in a book versus the concrete images of a movie allows us to bring more of our imagination into shaping the message of the book?
With different contexts influencing us, despite picking up the same text, we each read a different book. Clarity is not always important to an author given that ambiguity may allow their work to appeal to a broader audience and book clubs would be really boring if there was nothing to debate. However, to the movie director attempting to bring the story to the “Big Screen” or the business leader attempting to bring innovation to life, clarity and common understanding about the key concepts and objectives are essential so that each cast, crew and team member can contribute while enhancing rather than detracting from these key themes.
Clarity Is Essential for Innovation Success
The fact is that clarity about the critical elements is essential for the success of a team working together on any innovation project. In the business world this need for clarity is especially acute as an organization gets larger and various activities get compartmentalized. In this case it is more likely that the team members involved will be coming from very different contexts and will interpret ambiguous objectives differently as a consequence.
Additionally, when innovating, some change to the “norm” is required and there will be a need for interpretation around the edges in order to adapt to and optimize the innovation. This is when the guidance provided by clarified major priorities and objectives is critical. With this clear and common understanding of the critical elements for success, each team member can interpret and execute on details, making decisions that positively influence the key outcomes.
Whether or not you liked the book, you are guaranteed to hate the movie if each individual working on it used their disparate interpretations of the critical elements to do their jobs. Regardless of the venue, clarity on the key points is essential to drive and maximize the efforts of all those involved if you want to produce a blockbuster in the market rather than a flop.