Nay to the Idea Killers: NASA's Barriers to Innovation (An Instructive Lesson for Us All)

Another tip of the hat to Librarian in Black (and I swear I am going to come up with some original stuff soon), but this was too amazing to pass up:

[Update 3/5/09 -- It looks like this video's been made private. It must be all the attention from this blog, eh? It's really too bad; it is an instructive and fascinating look at how bureaucracy can stifle creativity.]

It's a report on barriers to innovation within NASA presented as a YouTube spoof on a popular TV show. I won't spoil the fun: watch it. It's absolutely worth the 10 minutes. If you don't recognize your workplace and the "idea killers" within (apologies to unknown CASE VIII Conference presenter who coined this phrase, and about whom my friend F. keeps raving), then I congratulate you on having a wonderful job.

And kudos to the NASA staff who produced this. What an amazing and instructive use of new media. I salute the folks who were brave enough to, ahem, produce an innovative report about innovation.

During this time of financial trouble, I predict that it is the people and organizations who are able to innovate who will emerge on top. And innovators will have to fight a tide of tried-and-true-comfort-zone thinking, as many people will respond to crisis by becoming risk-averse, when now is the exact time to try new things. To quote Warren Buffet: "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."