Thursday, June 15, 2006

Innovation starts here

My apologies to readers from my previous blog as I dig out this old posting. I‘ve had one of the most discouraging of days dealing with the control freaks, and purveyors of organizational bureaucracy, and this article just makes me feel better. So I share again.

This was posted previously without comment, and it was the most read post on my old site. I find it an inspiring reminder of the value of diversity.

Innovation begins with insight, not advice.


At its core, it begins with people with a talent for both observation and creative problem-solving. These people aren‘t “inventors“. They aren‘t necessarily scientists in white lab coats testing gadgets all day. They probably aren‘t PhD‘s or MBA‘s. They aren‘t likely to be tenured executives. They could be anybody. A cashier. A janitor. An art student. A factory worker. A chef. A dish-washer. A police detective. They are simply people with a specific talent. Something they were born with. Whomever they are, when you meet one, you know right away that you‘ve uncovered something special.

No matter what anyone tries to tell you, innovation can‘t be taught in a classroom. It isn‘t something you can get a degree in. It doesn‘t work that way.

Conversely, innovation doesn‘t just happen.

That‘s why “asses in seats” as a hiring practice, as an HR mandate, doesn‘t cut it anymore.

The resumes, the CV‘s, the diplomas, they have very little to do with one‘s ability to hand a company its next ten years at the top of the heap. Its next evolutionary leap or two. The next exciting chapter in its epic business adventure.

Innovators, whether they specialize in identity crafting, product design, specific technology or the arts don‘t exactly grow on trees.

Think about Food. Warfare. Fashion. Web design. Social Programs. Photography. Genetics. Philosophy.

Think Julius Caesar. Think Steve Jobs. Think Fats Domino.

Think the team that developed the mp3 format.

Think the farmer or merchant who designed the first wheel.

Think Louis Pasteur and Marie Curie.

Innovation always changes the world. Even the slightest hint of it.

Always.

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