To innovate is to be human. To be human is to innovate.
Life itself exists because it inherently looks for new, more efficient, different, and diversifying mechanisms to keep moving forward. Life innovates and diversifies. In adopting these core biological principles to how we work as individuals, and adding Darwinian concepts around adaptability of the community, we surely realise that, in order for humans to survive as a group, diversity is inextricably linked to innovation. Same goes for business; Diversity and Innovation are 2 sides of the same coin...
In Australia there is a new paradigm of political momentum towards the financial valuation and economic assessment of ideas, the need to move quickly, plus the instant gratification of the digital age, we need to remember that our human instincts evolved alongside innovation. Humans innovate every day of their lives.
Innovation comes easy to us, if we let it.
Where the magic happens is where the ideas are treated as more than just a spark, they have kindling, and if they are the ideas other people can subscribe to, then they are given fuel. The magic happens when an idea is relevant, understood, matches other business needs and desires, and the person with the idea can communicate it such in a way as to bring people along for the journey. To empower, educate, embolden, and empathise with those still in the present day business paradigm of hierarchical leadership is the necessary second step after your idea has been formed.
Can the innovation age survive running such a gauntlet against current business culture? I don’t see that it can, sustainably. There will likely be a few casualties along the way. With Australia in 10 years’ time estimated to have half of the current workforce self-employed, as individuals collaborating in some form of hive or collective, we need to change, and change quickly. I have heard the term “work smarter not harder" bandied about for so long it has become a caricature of itself, but there has been no real change as to how we fundamentally operate in traditional job/career frameworks. So, maybe traditional jobs are not going to persist in the next decade?
If this idea leaves you feeling confused, don’t worry, that is something we all feel when we start off as self-employed or looking for a new way of feeling fulfilled with our careers. The adrenalin keeps you going for a while (as hope always floats), but it will be your key skills, your network, and your reputation that underpin your success in this new way of working. It will be the future of business, not the future of work that keeps the economy going.
“Innovation is the best way to distinguish between a leader and a follower” –Steve Jobs.
My Courier Mail/Queensland Business Monthly article is now available without subscription here.
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