The Future Of Innovation Is Vibrant

Mr Gerard Harkin


I believe 'living' and 'innovating' are one of the same thing and that people and innovation are deeply connected. The ability to innovate is woven into the fabric of our being. It moves and vibrates like a living current within us, wanting to be expressed; I think we are starting to appreciate this quality.


In the future, we'll start thinking about innovation in a more active and personal way and we'll feel a vibrancy when we speak about it.  Today, this vibrancy isn't always there when people talk about innovation. Perhaps it's because of the way we've fragmented innovation - for example, books and articles have broken it down into types of innovation, levers, enablers and metrics etc. While the books and articles are helpful, I think we've gone too far in 'breaking apart' innovation and it's time to rekindle its sparkle. Another factor is that organizations occasionally need to overemphasize the intellect and rational facts, but the downside can be a sterile approach to innovation where ignition and passion are lacking. Ironically, in spite of innovation being easier to understand, it's getting harder to do successfully!


I think the future of innovation will be enabled by a simple shift in our perspective - a shift away from fragmented thinking towards a more holistic outlook. We'll let go of what isn't working with our existing models. As this happens we'll start innovating from a place of 'contributing to' rather than 'taking from'. This holistic outlook will lead to a significant change in what and how we innovate. Not only will we ask 'what should I innovate?' but we'll also ask 'what needs to be innovated?' Innovating from this place has ignition, vibrancy and unbounded potential.


Harmonious win-win situations will arise, we'll resolve many of the challenges facing us today and sustainability will be an obvious choice. We'll know what to do, when to do it and will be comfortable with ambiguity. Our innovation stories will become richer and heart warming. On the internet, at conferences and within companies, people will be asked to share their personal innovation journeys as well as the facts about what they were innovating - for example, how did the person and team change as a result of developing a new product, audiences will want to hear both aspects. In the future we'll focus more of our energy on meaningful innovations rooted in powerful visions.


Article © 2009 Mr Gerard Harkin. All rights reserved.

about the author...

Mr Gerard Harkin

Mr Gerard Harkin

affiliation:   Edengene

position:  Innovation Consultant

country:  United Kingdom

area of interest:  innovation management, sustainability

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