James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

Innovation day

Posted on | December 27, 2009 | No Comments

I don’t know if you read the blog by Diego Rodriguez called metacool, if not you should.

Look at the list of innovation principles on the right hand side!

Rodriguez puts a nice spin on innovation and maybe, just maybe, adds an element to the thought process that could re-focus what innovation is all about.

I hereby declare December 17 to be Innovating Day.

Innovate.  Take action.  It’s about the verb — innovating — and not the noun.  Personally, I’m tired of talking about the noun innovation and reading books about that noun, and only want to help people and organizations get in better touch with their creative confidence so that they can go out and innovate.  Trying to understand how to get to innovative outcomes via a process analyzing the inputs and outputs of innovation is akin to trying to understand love by reading textbooks on biology and genomics.  I’d wager that the best lovers in history didn’t read books on the subject.  Much better, methinks, to go out and do it in order to understand it.  Love, innovate, do, live: you’ll come to understand your own self and process in due time.  Which is the whole point.

Today is Innovating Day because December 17 marks the anniversary of Wilbur and Orville Wright completing the first controlled flight of a heavier-than-air machine.  The Wrights were nothing if not intuitive innovators, deeply in touch with a personal design process which allowed them to go where no man had gone before.  I won’t pretend that the Wrights followed any of the principles of innovating which I’ve been discussing here over the past year, but I will declare that those principles are largely inspired by the lives of the Wrights.  In particular, the events of December 17 helped inspire these specific principles:

1.  Experience the world instead of talking about experiencing the world.

4.  Prototype as if you are right.  Listen as if you are wrong.

10.  Baby steps often lead to big leaps.

14.  Failure sucks, but instructs.

I absolutely love his suggestion that we all need innovate one thing in our lives TODAY! Ad of course if you get stuck, well here is the suggestion!

If you’re stuck, I highly recommend proceeding with Principle 3 as a starting point.

I think the only real barrier to innovation by students, teachers, business people, politicians is not knowing where to start and fear of failure.

Now imagine if Bell, Jobs, Gates… anyone who has made a physical difference in your world said that they were too scared!

Just get to it.

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