The Future Of Innovation .. A Profound Truth

Mr Denys Levassort

 

What drives innovation ?

When I am in doubt, looking for weak signals, guessing time to market, trying to enhance a process...I allways keep the following two sentences in mind as my best friends: "intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time" (Scoot Fitzgerald), and "the opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false; the opposite of a profond truth is allways another profond truth" (N Bohr).

So I try never to forget the context, where the information comes from, and where consumption is supposed to be. Innovation is a consequence of our ability to see the "reality" of a situation in its specific and distinguishing elements. Just looking at it - not starting at it and interpreting it too fast; it is a kind of hunter posture with a particular aim.

Management of innovation is a little like that: keeping faithful to your onwn values, having a mind and heart that is open to other people and competences. But how to deal with different cultures and the resulting need to create a shared understanding, which takes time and a willingness to cooperate?

There are many forms of intelligence and awareness: business, competitive, environmental... and all of them are specific to the person. Do they need to be considered in any particular order? Is an ability to point out unmet clients needs sufficient?  Does innovating without passion make any sense?

Why could my initial quote be helpful for the future of innovation? Because embracing complexity must be part of our decision-making, we need to find a balance between an analytical, systemic, and an artistic, perception-based view. For a while now cars have been easier to produce than sell, but are we trying to improve our perception in order to decode social acceptance of our innovations? I am not thinking only about market segmentation here. I think about some kind of artistic inspiration, supported where necessary by all our knowledge in information technology. In fact, we are starting to see this in video games and other playful activites. 'Pleasure principle first' is what our organizations should be thinking about, independent of the sector they are involved in.

Can this be found in Lisbon treaty? Our knowledge society needs to operate with pleasure, recognition and social usefulness at its core. Consider innovation in NGO's, BarCamps, or neighborhood experiences. What about people who are happy to exchange their house during their holidays with people they hardly know and who are at the same time reluctant to share personal knowledge in they organization for innovation purposes?

We need to explore these contradictions with all our sentitive and artistic energy. Do we put together differing people with various profiles from the outset? Should innovation be an individual, a bilateral or a collective process? No need to answer now - just consider these thoughts with humility.  Just trust that such contemplation will lead towards one or other  profound truth!

 

Article © 2009 Mr Denys Levassort. All rights reserved.

about the author...

Mr Denys Levassort

Mr Denys Levassort

affiliation:   University of nancy,ICN Business School

position:  Consultant

country:  France

area of interest:  

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