Innovation: The Key to Value
Innovation is the lifeblood of intellectual and behavioral evolution. However, many of us and the companies we work for stifle innovation. The key to keeping innovation animate and growing is independence in some form.
Think for Yourself
For innovation to occur you need to think for yourself. It is a well known theory that small groups in isolation evolve the fastest. Ponder the idea of being alone on a deserted island; society is not there to cloud your ideas or judgments. Everything you do would be innovative in its own right. At this point, human species evolves mostly through our behaviors. Our behaviors adapt to the situations we are in, and by putting ourselves in situations where we can think for ourselves, give you the opportunity to truly be innovative.
Put yourself in this situation – You have been assigned a new project and must brainstorm new ideas. If you are in a group of three people it is easier to collaborate, talk it out, and come up with a solution. Now imagine adding thirty people to the group; a lot harder to listen to everyone’s ideas and come to one conclusion. Now imagine adding thirty million people to that discussion. It has now become impossible.
This is the effect that can occur when people at corporations work in large groups without first reviewing the issues on an independent basis.
Steps to Innovation
I urge you to make a point when you are trying to develop new ideas and projects to keep yourself independent from others, at least at first. You should have your own thoughts and ideas before bringing others into the picture. Write out a list so that the only way your original ideas can change is if YOU cross out and edit them. Having your thoughts written prior to a debate should help you keep your original thoughts in place and give you a better foundation to discuss with others.
Adding to Your Self Equity
By doing this you can be sure that your ideas will not conform to the group bias and you will be the one to have the innovative solution. Even if it is not accepted as the right solution it is always good to offer something different to the group. No employer has a need to pay ten people a large salary to hear them all say the same thing.
By following these steps, not only will you be a more innovative individual, but you will become that invaluable person on the team.