Next Concept: Rule Breaking
There is the value of the art recombining, the act of taking both existing and novel elements and reassembling them into new innovations. Recombination is a common trait of transformative companies, contributing to how they rethink and approach existing markets with new and better solutions.
Recombination has been used for as long as ideas have existed. Even Silicon Valley, long viewed as the land of independent innovation, has embraced the idea. Of course, it has put its own spin on it and created an acronym for the art of borrowing and improving, known as PFE: Proudly Found Elsewhere. Many tech companies, including Salesforce, Facebook, and Google have built by borrowing.
They know what great artists have known for years: great art is often derived by borrowing and building from others’ work. Hollywood has a long tradition of borrowing to achieve creative genius. The movie Jaws very closely resembles Moby Dick on Long Island. West Side Story transports Romeo and Juliet (which Shakespeare himself borrowed) to New York in the 1950s. Even the movie Lion King features a cute and very likable little lion who bears a strong resemblance to Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark.
The fact that these and hundreds of others have borrowed to create their work makes them no less creative or entertaining. Recombination looks for opportunities to adapt models, capabilities, and functions and improve them to create extreme value. It’s an effective and efficient path to innovation.
A common fallacy of invention and creative genius places a premium on new ideas being created out of nothing. Yet many great ideas are simply borrowed from and built upon from the ideas of others, often even from other fields. There are three distinct methods of recombination organizations use to creatively borrow and adapt concepts from others: point adaptation, analogical mapping, and digital recreation.
Explore this and other topics in the upcoming book Transformative.