Innovating away incongruities

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Mar 24, 2016

This is the sixth chat on sources of opportunity for "innivation" (i.e innovation ;-)) as we work up the list of seven identified by Peter Drucker in his book: Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Drucker describes an incongruity as "a discrepancy, a dissonance, between what is and what 'ought' to be, or between what is and what everybody assumes it to be."

Mismatches between different elements of a product or process or organization are often not apparent to those who are not closely involved with them. However people who are involved for long periods become acccustomed to them. So the opportunity lies somewhere between those two extremes. As Drucker points out:

"It creates an instability in which quite minor efforts can move large masses and bring about a restructruing of the economic or social configuration. Incongruities do not however, usually manifest themselves in the figures or reports executieves receive or pay attention to. They are qualitative rather than quantitative."

In his book, he lists four kinds of incongruity in more detail.


Let's discuss this topic during #innochat on March 24, 2016 at 12 noon Eastern time around the following questions or issues:

  • As a customer or user, what interests, irritates, or amuses you because it is incongruous?
  • What different kinds of incongruities do we encounter?
  • Which innovations have originated from incongruities?
  • What incongrituies are you aware of in your field, and how would you solve them?
  • Where are we likely to find resolutions for incongruities?
  • How can we find incongruities as a starting point for opportunities to innovate?


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