I was recently involved in an effort to define the rules for being innovative. The group was made up of different disciplines across the business sector. I represented the Information Technology sector. The group started down the technology road, what software or hardware would the biggest bang for a buck. Which shiny new object should we pay attention to. As the discussion continued I tried to steer it down what I think is a more appropriate path.
Innovation is not about technology, Innovation is defined as striving for opportunities to use any method or means possible to provide a more efficient process or outcome.
On its most basic level innovation is not about taking a process and technofying it, but how inventive, ingenious can you be with all of the tools, methods, talents and resources you already have. You shouldn’t look around for a tool or process and force it into your processes. You should spend your time figuring out how to best accomplish the task or goal you are working on. This could be anything from the simple task to a multi-step cross departmental process. Either way you need to dream, think What if. Think outside the box. Once you have the best ideas, then you start trying to figure out which tools and resources fit where. It’s only with this approach that I believe you can really achieve those moments that can be classified as Innovative.