On the one hand, you want to inspire and enable people to come up with the most outlandish, wonderful new ideas. On the other hand, you need to move forward in a way that all can follow. Break the tradeoff with directed iteration around a double l’enfant. Innovation requires the mind of l’enfant (child). A great model for orderly progress was Pierre L’Enfant’s long-term vision for Washington, D.C. and how to get there in steps. Marry the two with directed iteration, continually building on your current best thinking on the way to your long-term vision.

Use your long-term vision to direct those innovative iterations, continually improving current best thinking as iterative steps along the way to that destination. This is as much an attitude as an approach. Creative ideas are fragile things. They don’t survive criticism well.

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