Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What is Innovation ?

As long as we're defining key concepts associated with the blog, let's tackle "Innovation." Innovation means many things to many people. Now, we will cover Innovation in more depth later, but we thought it was important to set some baseline expectations regarding what we think innovation means up front. We will do this by capturing the characteristics of Innovation; those include:
  1. Innovation requires the ability to view problems with minimal bias. Of course, everyone has a certain set of predefined expectations or notions they carry into any situation, however we can if we try - strip away much of that and look at an issue / problem / topic with "fresh eyes" if we choose to.
  2. Innovation requires the ability to properly define what the motivations for change are. Solutions not tied problems are seldom useful (there are many accidental discoveries yet most of those are made in the context of trying to solve some other problem) - while we may wish to check our solution bias at the door, problem-solving motivation is always welcome. 
  3. Although we will be talking technology throughout the lifespan of this blog, Innovation in itself is not a technology-driven; it is a thought-driven process facilitated through technology. The distinction may seem trivial, but it's not. This concept is key to understanding why certain things work in IT and other don't.
  4. Innovation is a process.
  5. Innovation can be reproduced. 
  6. Innovation harnesses vision.
  7. Vision without process is inconsistent and difficult to realize.
The following diagram was an illustration (done several years ago) that visualizes some of the characteristics listed above...

Innovation can be described, organized and believe it or not - reproduced !
So, now that we've defined Innovation, what about Technology? How do we define it - how do we describe it in the context of applied innovation (something we will describe in more detail later) ?
Here's how you might want think of it...

Technology Rules!
Technology is a tool. Tools evolve as we evolve. Tools solve problems but can also create problems. Today's tools can't think for us but can think with us under our guidance. The trick is how knowing how to manage tools and problems in a unified approach...

Copyright 2012, Semantech Inc. All rights Reserved 


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