Innovation is an Indicator, Not a Goal

There might be a little bit of craziness here.  If there is, please correct me.  But isn’t innovation a side benefit of one’s environment? (“Environment” in this case is the culture, the skills of people, the creativity, the tools, the processes and on and on…)

It may be an indicator, something that tells us how we are doing in other areas.  But should it be a goal?  I don’t think so.

When I see things about “increasing the innovation within an organization” I get it, but it seems that it focuses too much on the process and not on what we want in the end.  Again, we can think of Umbrella Principles – those which encompass others.

For example, focusing on trying to smile at everyone you meet is a fine goal.  Except it is a lower order goal.  Trying to be kind to everyone you meet is higher order and will usually result in the lower order goal happening naturally.

That’s how I see innovation.  If we are trying to increase it within an organization we are focusing on the wrong goal.  Look for a higher order goal which will make  it happen naturally because of the environment which it is in.

If innovation isn’t happening (and we want it to) then that does not mean we should focus on it.  Rather, focus on the environment that causes innovation to freely flourish.

Of course, you have to create the right environment and not think that changing the decor will drastically increase innovation.

And just for fun, a little bit of creativity….