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« Technology for Writers Made Easy | Main | The Myth of Leadership »

Innovation and Learning

If everything is working OK, is there even any point in innovating? What’s wrong in simply taking the view, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

In a talk this evening I’ll be spending about 15 minutes talking about this, presenting a case study and looking at some concerns about doing something too different. That will be followed, hopefully, by some lively discussion.

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Reader Comments (4)

Change is always frightening and staying in the position we are already in is much more comfortable and requires no effort.
October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephan Hughes
In these current times of recession and, some might say, regression, it is pleasing to see that someone is still talking about innovation.

For me, there may be two slightly different types of innovation; innovation through growth and innovation through change.

Innovation through growth builds upon current practices and develops them through new approaches, new technologies or new funding. Terry, I would see your livescribe pen as representing innovation through growth; it takes current practice, writing on paper, and adds new facilities to it.

Innovation through change tries to remove or replace current practice or to add new practices. Quite often, this sort of innovation brings about fear and worry for people; there is the inference that can be drawn that their current practice is somehow wrong or obsolete. There may also be doubt whether the new practice will be effective. When implementing innovation through change, there needs to be some work to convince users that the change is necessary and beneficial.

However, not all innovation is 'big', innovation can come about by small steps and this is often a good approach as small steps often seem less threatening.
I guess the answer lies in planning any innovation.
October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Woods
@Stephan I wonder if that's true, that it requires no effort to not change. I couldn't stand doing the same thing day in, day out, year in, year out. For me, that would take far too much effort!
@Doug thx Doug, very incisive, and I definitely agree that innovation can be (seemingly) very small. For example, I think the idea of having one queue at post offices and banks is completely counter-intutive, and is a very small change, but was very effective.

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