In my innovation travels I’ve explored much of the lesser understood sides of innovation. I have always set about to try to explain them. One way is I try to relate them to the aspects of everyday innovation, give those often novel and logical frameworks or some method and structures to approach them, so they can be integrated into innovation work.
Some clearly have worked better than others. I believe we do need to constantly push the boundaries of innovation, experiment and explore to advance the management of innovation and its understanding. I search for stimulus, I try to offer it back.
Getting innovation into the organization mainstream
We do need innovation to enter the mainstream of our everyday thinking, to be something we all feel naturally comfortable undertaking, as part of our make-up for our growth or prosperity. Presently those that are not fully picking up on the value of innovation are happily assuming others are fully active and totally switched on to all that makes up innovation potential. We need to get them involved. They have not fully realized they are as essential to contribute to a sustaining future, based on innovation solutions, so we can collectively tackle growing societal problems. We need to move ‘many’ from being the problem to being ‘engaged’ in mapping out the innovating future so innovation can fulfil its latent potential.
Drawing in the vast majority so we all become innovation savvy
We do need our roadmaps, our blueprints of innovation, our common points of understanding. They are essential when we decide to undertake any journey in our lives. If you don’t have the essential of a compass, spare food and drink, warm clothing, good walking or mountain shoes then you should not venture out into the mountains, you give them a certain respect; I think innovation deserves that as well.
If we do not come together and gain a common language for innovation, not as a throw away buzz point, but as a unifying point, we will never be able to teach and transfer innovation to all the others that have not bothered to pick up on understanding the innovation language.
Why is a common language for innovation important?
Innovation has so many pockets of confusion and traps to fall into for adding to our inefficiencies. We still see so much fragmented energy, plenty of differences of approach and potential misunderstandings. It often saps the very juice of innovation. Organizations have plenty of unproductive capital, even when they hack away at all the undergrowth. Resource allocation required for good innovation remains patchy, under-served and often starved. We all become increasing busy at fixing what we have, trying to understand those hidden costs, spent energies and lost opportunities.
Until we arrive at a more uniformed approach to innovation, improve the management of innovation and its development within our systems, structures and processes, we will stay stuck in constant re-invention and duplication.
Seeking a common language allows us to form ‘stickiness’ in value, it becomes the glue to align the parts that make up innovation and forms the whole we seek. It can offer a different viewpoint on our future, one that challenges us to evolve and explore. It helps provide a sense of community, a common sharing, a common purpose.
image credit: utc.edu
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Paul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topics that relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities.