If we reflect on the past and some of the great innovations and discoveries, we must wonder how many lives could have been saved if penicillin had been developed five years earlier? Now, some of the problems we seek to solve are extremely more complex.
Fortunately, vast bodies of knowledge can provide anyone with a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop and internet service more access to specialized information than a highly trained specialist just a generation ago.
There are many ways to innovate. Here are a few suggestions to help you to stay on track and get the help and support that you need.
Insight – A brilliant idea may not always arise from a single flash of insight. In fact, it may be a long process involving small discoveries or “fixes” that you have tried. Another factor is that someone else may have made similar discoveries but did not believe that they were significant enough to mention. So, sharing some of your insights is one way to verify that you are on the right track.
Collaboration – If you have a great idea, you may not have all of the expertise to test the idea or concept. Don’t be bashful about sharing the idea with colleagues from other departments or functions within your organization, such as finance, engineering or logistics. As a concept, great innovation almost never occurs within one field of expertise, but is almost invariably the result of consultation across multiple specialties.
Crowd-sourcing – Every problem cannot be solved in “cookie cutter” fashion because there is no monopoly on creative thought. To borrow a phrase that is used widely on the internet, let’s suggest “crowd sourcing.” You can use your contacts to help you ensure that you have asked all of the right questions and considered other stakeholders that may have input or be affected. In other words, do your best to define all of the elements that should be included in a complete solution.
No idea too small – When many people hear about innovation, they think about Silicone Valley startups. But innovation can happen anywhere and can be large or small. In your particular instance, your idea may not be a “block buster” but it may contribute to your or your organization’s consistent prosperity for years or generations.
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