An Innovator has an Obligation to…Improve

by Kim Chandler McDonald

Week 05 theme is “Improve”

If, as George Carlin said, “An artist has an obligation to be en route”

Please complete this sentence: An innovator has an obligation to…

Strive for improvement, not just change.  So many ideas that are claimed to be innovative, [are] in reality, just the same old win in a new bottle. Henrik Steensen, Product and Applications Engineer, Hypertherm, Inc.

– Knowledge, and the example that you can always improve what is at hand, is a way to leave something valuable to the future generations that may not be so lucky. Benvenuti Giacomo, CTO at 3D-Oxides

– Innovators have no obligations, but the society should give them a platform where they can meet the right entrepreneurs, who are willing to improve their ideas in order to have something that improves society as a whole. Stefan Schippers, Innovation Catalyst, Business Angel/Consultant

– I am new to thinking of myself as an innovator and want to improve at it. Is fear or personal resistance something you ever come up against, or does a natural lack of it contribute to your innovation? Bryan Anderson, Principal at SALA Architects

“I define innovation as ‘something different that has impact’. The two key words are ‘something’ and ‘impact’. ‘Impact’ reminds us that innovation is distinctly different from its precursors – creativity and invention. Those things are important, no doubt, but until you translate a creative spark into an idea that generates profits, improves a process, or addresses some other problem, you have not innovated. ‘Something’ reminds us that innovation is not consigned to white-lab-coat-wearing scientists toiling away in laboratories. Innovation isn’t the job of a few people in the organisation. Everyone should be thinking about new ways to solve old problems. Innovation goes well beyond new products and services to include new marketing approaches, new processes, new organizational structures, even new leadership behaviors.” – Scott Anthony, Managing Partner at Innosight, Chairman of the IDEAS Ventures Investment Committee from Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World

“Using the internet and its related communication technologies, stakeholders can work together to improve healthcare delivery, collaboration, diagnostics and treatments, while reducing administrative duplications, errors and costs and, dare I say, ensure that easy to use, affordable, effective healthcare is available to one and all. Yes, budgetary and population pressures on the healthcare industry, at local, regional, national and global levels are rapidly increasing, as are problems of provisioning. But it is precisely in this area that innovative technologies can be of great importance and use.” – Excerpt from the author’s essay, Me-health: Resolute and committed stakeholders at the heart of the healthcare industry, from Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World

If you would like to ‘have your say’, feel free to join in by sharing your thoughts below, and on the Innovation Excellence LinkedIn group forum!

image credit: Kim Chander McDonald

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Kim Chandler McDonald is author of Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World, as well as the Co-Founder and Flat World Navigator at KimmiC, a company specializing in  leading edge innovations such as FlatWorld™ – digital technology that empowers endusers to easily capture, collaborate and capitalize on ideas, information and knowledge assets.