Innovation is NOT Invention

“I have failed over and over again in my life, that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan

I had the pleasure of listening to John Kao, one of the worlds most famous drivers of innovation. He said that we were living in a time where we are “Problem rich  and Solution poor”, but the good news is that we are reaching a tipping point with a new paradigm. I think that this is something that many of us are feeling in general during teh very exciting 2012.

The solution to come to the tipping point is – Innovation. To innovate, one needs to come in to a “flow” and not think too much. John likened it with any

John Kao

John Kao

craftsman, that we have to practice and practice, not give up our innovation and sooner or later the reward will come. The case is however often the opposite, where we innovate, put some effort to it, and then give up. Give up and innovation does not go hand in hand.

To innovate, we must be creative. Creativity is the universal human ability to generate new ideas. Imagination is the ability to form images and sensations without reference to the actual senses.

What he also said was that innovation is not invention. Innovation is creativity applied to a purpose to realize value, as a distinction to invention.

His formula for innovation is: Discipline + imagination = Innovation. Just as Michael Jordan, above, said in other words.

I personally think that we all have the imagination, it is the discipline that we often lack. We lose the perseverance, we have an idea, sometimes it stays there and never becomes more than idea. Other times we implement it and then let go of it when we step upon some challenges.

One thing that my good friend and former business partner, Roz, taught me was that if you believe in an idea – a vision – and firecfully apply it against all odds, you will eventually succeed.

I think that is what Michael Jordan did and many other people around the world. The failed, then failed again, and finally failed better.

//Anna

 

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