We often forget it is our people that really make innovation work. They determine the ideas, drive these forward to deliver them as new innovative concepts into the world. People connect the fragmented pieces or dots within innovation from being random and intangible, into being explicit and tangible.
In the past, we have often believed it is the genius laboring away in his lab that has made the discovery that has led to real breakthroughs in innovation.
So often in the past, this lack of making the invention connection has often held many of us back to become engaged in discovery, ideas or contributions as we felt discouraged, as we had felt innovation can only happen in these ‘special’ places.
Most of us became disconnected with the early part of the discovery for innovation, we simply became just the implementors, pushing the innovation through the pipeline into its final execution. That can change if we are willing and able to challenge our past assumptions.
In many ways, we have still not fully broken with this ‘mindset’ on the innovation of being someone else’s need to identify and discover those new ways, new designs, and solutions. Thankfully though that has been changing, as increasingly the message has been delivered that “innovation is all within our jobs, irrespective of what we do”
It has been the opening up of the organization thinking through technology that has allowed for this innovation to flow, to be captured, absorbed, translated and delivered back out into the world. It is from this multiple and diverse difference of innovation understanding that can freely flow ideas and concepts that can evolve into new innovations that deliver better value than what was offered in the past.
We do need to find this “sweet spot” for encouraging more innovation
We live in a world where we are having greater connectivity than ever before. We are increasingly engaged in far greater interactivity with the easy and access to the social and organizational tools than ever before. We are encouraged to share what we know increasingly so others can build on this, or shape its original concept into a different value proposition simply by having that triggering an idea and seeing the ‘possibilities’ to build upon it.
Perhaps we have a new innovation equation to explore and exploit more
It is the degree of connectivity times the degree of interactivity times the degree of sharing, that is within our growing community that enables the innovation to emerge.
We need to find the spaces to innovate. Where else in today’s more open world where technology allows us all higher degrees of freedom, discovery, and ability to make the innovation space a vibrant one. One where it is the collaborating we undertake, that leads us to break out of the existing, changing the known, investigating the unknown by the ‘degrees’ of our willingness to explore and exploit all that is around us, if we only reach out and be open to new levels of thinking.
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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. Follow @paul4innovating