If you can remember, our parents used to get elated at the very thought of new and innovative electronic goods hitting the market. The time when telephones, televisions and even the super flop gadgets like pager were marvel of technology for them.
But, what is it with our generation?
Every significant bit of advance in technology has become just another piece of improvement for us. We tend to take ideas and effort behind them for granted.Looking at our future generation, our kids, it is even more worse. They just don't get impressed with any…
The more we are getting exposed to advancements in science the less curious we are growing.
We are growing in the era of technology where we have become accustomed to innovation.
What is innovation?
Innovation, as per few of the experts interviewed, is more than a definition. In-fact, 13% of them agreed, a definition for innovation is not important at all (Idea To Value source).
As per the article published on Idea To Value, 60% of the innovation experts said it’s about having an idea and executing the it, 40% emphasized that it should address a real challenge, add value to the company and to the customer. There were also other parameters which were stressed in variable percentages each- different perspective thinking, moving forward and addressing new market.
Pete Foley says-
I define the innovation process as a great idea, executed brilliantly, and communicated in a way that is both intuitive and fully celebrates the magic of the initial concept. We need all of these parts to succeed. Innovative ideas can be big or small, but breakthrough or disruptive innovation is something that either creates a new category, or changes an existing one dramatically, and obsoletes the existing market leader. We can obsolete ourselves or someone else, and it can be ‘sexy’, or address a basic human need – both the iPad and disposable diapers qualify for me. But it needs to either create a new market, or radically change an existing one.
Why being innovative is important?
In today’s digital age where innovation has not only become a buzz word but also has developed an appetite for it. It has become imperative to be more innovative at the core than excelling in academics.
Innovation, which was closely associated with industry has now started seeing a sudden shift in focus. It is now part of everyday business and everyman’s go to objective for problem solving.
It is the means to solve major issues faced by people today, be it personal, professional, social or global.
However, for the innovation to occur we need to build and provide the right type of ecosystem for the new-age innovative minds to breed. Additionally, it’s important to develop a different mindset to accommodate diversity in choices as against shunning away the curious minds.
It is absurd how people even today are so much ingrained to their cultural, geographical or family businesses. Just like India which still enforces younger brains to go for medicine or engineering route, Kuwait takes pride in oil business while dash is synonymous to dash (fill in appropriately).
If we keep sticking to the age old career paths, only because it is less risky, not only will the future generation will fail to tap in their potential to innovate but also the world will get fewer innovative solutions to the existing problems.
Being innovative means-
- Igniting untapped intellect
- Harnessing the power of knowledge, wisdom and ideas
- Bringing out individuality
- Showing the world newer ways to success
- Connecting to ones core desires
- Growing as an individual with self-confidence
- Meeting the ideologies that one owns
- Bridging the gap between ‘I am a’ but ‘I wanted to become a’
How to become more innovative by nature?
- Learn, unlearn and relearn- Getting stuck in the lessons you have learn't years back is to stale your capacity to think about new horizons. Unlearn the old and outdated. Keep yourself abreast of the new and relearn along the way. This will enable you to adapt to change.
- No ideas are small- Do not hush away any of your thoughts- big or small, innovation begins from the smallest of ideas and get blown out when you connect your small little ideas i.e. connecting the dots. No ideas are silly, stupid or obvious.
- There are more ways than you think- Once you come up with a solution to a major problem that needs to be done differently to succeed, ask yourself, if there are any other alternatives to solve the same problem?
- Pen it down- It’s funny how our minds sometimes can’t give us even single idea to start. But the same mind can sometimes run at the lightning speed with idea flood. It can be overwhelming to sink in so many ideas. Sometimes they’re filled with ambiguity, on what to do and how to proceed. Penning down your thoughts that are irregular and conversely, at times are train of sequential ideas will help a great deal. Recording every random thought, word or phrase can come to your rescue in the need of an hour and you’ll be surprised to see the results.
- Inspiration is everywhere- Make a mental note or better follow point no 4 whenever you are moved by an incident at your work place, a movie, a personality you met on the metro, something that you observed at the traffic signal, a story that you overheard at a coffee shop, etc. You never know when and where an idea can spark.
- Persistence to put idea into action- As Thomas Edison puts it-“Invention is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration“. Just having mind blowing ideas is like having eggs in the fridge till they rot. Only if you make something out of it will it lead to innovation.
- Breaking the barriers- Knowingly or unknowingly we set so many restrictions and limiting belief on ourselves that we struggle to release our true potential to innovate. These are nothing but psychological restrictions and assumptions that we have forced on our minds. We need to shed all such hypothetical boundaries and set our minds free.
- Rehearse by making mistakes- Go take some calculated risks. Come out of your mindset that you need to succeed to be innovative. No. Failure is just like rehearsals, the more you fail the more you learn. There is always the next time. Dust it and make it.
- Find your trigger- When are you on your idea high? While you walk, drink coffee, listen to music, take shower, admire nature, etc. Creativity and innovation are at high for many geniuses when they’re close to their trigger . Figure out what is yours.
- Grow beyond obvious- Shed your inhibitions, don’t think of what others have to say, accept things that are out of your control, change the ones you can, accept and forget your past- move on. Just innovate no matter what.
Innovation needn’t necessarily be new or unique, it is about standing for what you believe and seizing the opportunities. It’s also about looking past visibility and thinking ahead of everybody.
Here’s what Guy Kawasaki has to say about innovation.
What is your concept of innovation? What is that one thing you have done in life which you believe is innovation?