Engage: Innovation Design Task 1
The Engage task is both the initial steps in the process of innovation, and the beginning of a practice of deep engagement.
In a certain sense, the Engage phase is about learning how to leave the secure and known, and join the flow of life. It is about getting out of your head and your comfort zone and engaging. Not much in life, never mind innovation, will happen without doing this.
Often there is a strong temptation to skip this step, we assume we already know all the answers and can move on to the real work of innovating. But the full immersion into a world, along with answering questions with others builds a shared ecosystem — a commons that becomes the expansive well that novelty can, in all its surprising glory, emerge.
We divide this task up into three practices, which while presented as being sequential, are ultimately deeply interwoven:
When you begin matters little, it is how you go that counts.
1. Opening & Grounding: Why and where one begins an innovation journey is truly diverse. Sometimes it is an idea, at other times a vexing question, or perhaps an observation, or a persistent problem. You can begin anywhere. When you begin matters little, it is how you go that counts. This task begins that process by both opening you up to the larger space of the question, and grounding you in the lived world of that question.
2. Attuning & Gathering: As you ground yourself in a question, it is important to connect with others — to participate and engage in the world surrounding your area of interest. Develop a collaborative community. What do they do? What is their history? What are their concerns? How can you make a shared space of curiosity?
3. Pattern Recognition: As one dwells on the larger world of a question and connects with a community equally entangled in this question, the collective activity of uncovering the underlying logics, habits, histories and trends can begin.