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What drives innovation?

This piece goes back to a talk that Salma had given at one of the panels about innovation. The panel was asked what are the ingredients of innovations and where does innovation arrive from?

Some of the points driving innovation mentioned were:

Good Problem – A great problem needs a great solution and identifying the problem is half the battle won when it comes to innovation.

Insight – To leap it is important to have an underlying insight which you follow.

Vision – You need to be able to see that which is not already there and also understand the potential of it when it is brought about.

Capability – Anybody can dream of innovating but you need to be able to execute and get it done. 

Great People – To do something great the people behind it have to pursue it unrelentingly. Great people have the perseverance to make great things happen.

Salma added two more points which I thought were far more important 

Desperation – Well-fed organisations and individuals rarely innovate. There needs to be desperation within the organisation/individual to drive innovation. Desperation also means that often succeeding in doing the impossible is the only way out. Please note, this is not manic desperation but one that is driven by a need. 

Sacrifice – Nothing that is difficult comes without some kind of sacrifice. That sacrifice might be time, money, effort, comfort or myriad list of other things but the sacrifice is essential to drive innovation. Organisations which innovate do not function with a set routine, they have to be at the edge of things.

Startups often start down the path of innovation. While that mandate it clear, they do not have the required desperation to make it happen at all costs or are unwilling to make the sacrifices that it takes to succeed. A handful of them are willing to give what it takes and see no other way and they end up changing the world.

Are you innovating in your organisation?

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