Innovation happens as new perspectives, thoughts and ideas lead to changes in behaviour. Doing the same things and expecting a different outcome is unrealistic. Only when we do new things, do we make a substantial difference.
Mankind has evolved through the application of small thoughts which continually make a difference to someone and big ideas which occasionally rock everyone’s world. There is always an opportunity to innovate in specific ways, but now something else is happening at a generic level.
Innovation is an opportunity now: not because we have access to many new technologies; not because we face major challenges; and not because the pace of change is increasing. These have been true during many periods of history.
Innovation is an opportunity now because the world is beginning to understand that innovation can be managed. This has been understood by some people for some time; yet, for most people, the concept of managing innovation remains out of reach.
We have the opportunity to do new things more effectively through the application of our understanding of innovation. The opportunity is to be more innovative, and we are still learning what that means.
[This post was originally written in connection with my contribution to the Like Minds 2011 conference in Exeter, UK between October 19-21, and was published in the conference magazine for the Apple iPad, see the AppStore under “Like Minds” .]