February 07, 2008
Street Smart Innovation


by Farrell Reynolds

On an intuitive level everyone knows the meaning of the expression "Street Smarts." In our context let's define it as the combination of life experience, intelligence, awareness, cleverness, guile, humor, ingenuity, agility and ability acquired beyond (or in place of) formal education. (For those without a big-city background, we can include "Farm Smarts" as an equivalent of street smarts.)

Street smarts are a very valuable commodity in the conduct of our lives. Each of us has a degree of street smarts/farm smarts, and we use it all the time in our personal lives.

So why isn't it used more in business?

Is it that street smarts are sort of an informal asset, tough to explain and model, and difficult to apply to specific situations?

Is it because it doesn't lend itself well to PowerPoint presentations?

Aren't street smarts more useful than traditional applied business theory in on-the-run, fluid situations that require more innovation than theory can provide?

Folks, successful and vibrant business is fluid, on-the-run, and innovative.

We have the most highly educated, literate, articulate and engaged workforce on the planet. While the highest levels of formal education might not have been achieved by many, almost all are brimming with street smarts.

And they want to make a contribution! Just ask them.

Create a formal environment where your employees are encouraged and rewarded for making contributions of their street smarts, their intelligence, awareness, cleverness, ability and ingenuity in order to fuel the company's innovative efforts, and you will be rewarded beyond your dreams.

Contact us. We have some street smart ideas on how to do this.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at February 7, 2008 10:58 AM

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