Have you ever wondered where the word innovation came from and just how it all began? As I’ve been taking a break to read my favorite feeds, Rita McGrath’s HBR post caught my attention. Curious thing, that before the 80’s, people used the term ‘diversification’ when exploring new opportunities. In today’s fast-paced world though, I don’t think it will take eight years to become profitable in what you do; we’ve seen so many startups break all popular notions of success as their revenues hit a record high in such a short time. When I was searching for a term on Google, I can’t help but ask myself if there are still undiscovered territories in the business landscape.. as everything seems to be explored (exploited) already.
When Old Meets New
Do you agree that there’s no such thing as a fresh idea, that all these new concepts have been the product of a need to make old ideas.. better? I bet, before Seth Godin became popular with his famous ‘linchpin’ or ‘purple cow’ – someone must have thought of that under a different name; he just turned it into something avant-garde through the power of storytelling. While technologies developed in a blink of an eye, it fascinates me so much that I can only be grateful for being alive to experience this age. Corporations and fledglings are now on equal grounds where the fast beats the big, where project managers have morphed into project leaders. What sort of luck have we been experiencing these days?
To Succeed, You Must Fail
Many have written that fear is the top reason for business failure. I hate to disagree, but I believe it’s your ego that contributed big time. You are too proud to even consider the thought of failing, of losing out on opportunities, and so you continuously sabotage what could have been a phenomenal success. You know what made Facebook’s Hackathon an overnight success? It’s that they allowed people to push the limits of their imagination, without expectations. You’ll never know what you can learn from failing the first time. I’d say it’s a chance for you to learn, take down notes and succeed the second time around. How else can you know if you won’t try?
Return to Ignorance
When there’s mystery, you are more motivated to search for answers. Agree? Innovation is like searching a black cat in a dark room, and the cat just isn’t there – to quote from Stuart Firestein, neuroscientist and author of “Ignorance: How It Drives Science“. If I were to trace back the very root cause as to why it’s hard for CIO’s, CEO’s to unlearn what they have learned about innovation, I believe the answer will point me back to this 3-letter word: EGO. Consider this though: We are living in an information economy where knowledge is a top commodity. While big data is the new buzzword in the tech world, to succeed these days may just mean not being scared of asking questions and being brave enough to muck about in unknown terrains.
An adventure of a lifetime awaits… whenever you’re ready to embrace ignorance and fear.