But implementation is important too. How do you keep people on track without dampening their creativity?

It’s not either/or. You just need to be intentional about which you want to emphasize now. To shift the focus of stand-up meetings, managers can pull two levers: frequency and content. If you want more novelty, have fewer meetings and keep them short. If your priority is implementing existing ideas, greater coordination from more-regular meetings can be helpful. As for meeting content, a discussion of goals focuses people on implementing old ideas rather than on coming up with new ones. So if you don’t talk about goals, you open the door to more creativity. Say you’re a tech company trying to develop a completely new category of product. A lot of agile meetings could get in your way; it would be better to just have your engineers follow their individual inclinations and explore randomly.

The suggestion is that focusing on achieving a goal, and the tools for it like stand-up meetings, lessons the innovation output. You’re deciding to spend time implementing and existing idea, achieving an existing goal instead of coming up with the new ideas and new goals.

A bit of “works as designed,” but important to realize so that you can build both into the system.

🔗 Balancing execution versus innovation