The Irony Of Innovation - A Perspective

2013 Is Over - A Lot Happened In A Short Period Of Time. Ironically.

Let's assume we share a definition of Innovation - something like 'the introduction of something original or new' that will do. Well we increasingly think that the concept of innovation in large corporations is missing completely. In others it is patently not institutionalised. Excuse the pun. The challenge to there being any innovation is ironic.

Business demands core strengths of focus, efficiency and time management in the same breath as reducing the time available for creativity and thinking.

Balance Is Everything


We've seen both extremes.

We need the data + we need the art of the possible. Truth is we need both. But most importantly we need the leaders that know that. Not just pay lip service to it. There is a strong connection between each too. There is a connection between efficiency and focus and creativity and innovation. It's called thinking. Critical thinking.

Business becomes more streamlined, more efficient, more time bound.

"There's ever less time for contemplation, exploration, and, God help us, simply thinking about concepts, needs and alternatives. They are too busy to innovate." - Jeffrey Phillips

“There is always a sheet of paper. There is always a pen. There is always a way out.” — H. L. Mencken

Because the world is more complicated and hectic we don't appreciate things that slow us down - whatever it is we are doing. Anything that slows us down means we get yet more frustrated working harder to figure the thing out. Strike that subtle balance of making things simple by creating the space for the complex thinking. Apply that truth to everything.

Whether it's developing a global business, a government agency, a major event or a start up the rule is always the same.

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” — Pablo Picasso

Whether it's that devil Power Point chart or some great new innovation drilling for truffle oil with trained piranha, don't make the result complex. Well not if you want anyone's attention. Now there's a balance - as the smart guy Mr A. Einstein suggested - make things simple but not too!

We need to bring efficiency to how we think and work.

Beyonce decided to not launch an album by really launching it.

“Let the world say you are crazy, then you are free to do what you want.” — Janesh Vaidya

A World Of Opposing Ideals

  • An Impossible Equilibrium - Balancing a burgeoning urge for authenticity and integrity in a commercially - bottom line driven world.
  • The Ethical Bunfight - Social and environmental concerns are trying to survive within systems designed to create commercial gain
  • Media Tyranny - A goldfish bowl of media attention creating high risk environment leaders who are driving for change and differentiation.
  • Poles Apart - A growing polarisation of the wealthy and the poor.
  • The Digital Rich & Poor - An increasing technological divide between the haves and have nots.
  • Cultural Divisions - Globalisation of our societies is leading to conflicts of culture - the result is an increasing blandness of society.
  • The Skills Chasm - A growing gap between the capabilities we need and the education systems that fail to deliver them.

“The truth is, rarely can a response make something better — what makes something better is connection.” — Social scientist Brené Brown