Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Innovation, What Are Thou?

Someone(s) took a few seemly unrelated ideas, pieces of information, or trends; found a common tread, and beautifully wove them together.
-TPG

The new buzz word is INNOVATION, every company, every team, every organization is looking to innovate. To be the next group that develops that thing, process, or ... that which we no longer can live without. To be that individual, that organization, that team that created, develop, improved what we thought could not be.

My husband and I were just discussing with our 5 year old daughter that when mommy and daddy were her age, there were no cell phones. That when we were out and needed to make a call we used a pay phone and always carried $0.35 in change. She literally had a blank stare on her face (the stare of incomprehension so to speak), "no cell phones...?" Even worse, was when I told her we had no iPods either, and used cassettes and CDs (to which she had no idea what I was even talking about). NO WORDS from her - ZERO.  About 10 minutes later she asked my husband and I if "the world was only black and white too?" Laughter ensured from all of us.

Years ago these were things, ideas, and processes that we did not know we "needed" until someone made connections and tied them all together. Someone(s) took a few seemly unrelated ideas, pieces of information, or trends; found a common tread, and beautifully wove them together. And I am willing to bet the Vegas odds, that those people were considered crazy, unrealistic, and idealist. Further that they had the door shut in their faces a time or two, before they could really breathe life into their ideas.

I was asked to speak to some students about the career paths and the topic of innovation came up in discussion. When it comes to innovation, I have come to my own (and personally logical) conclusion. I know that if I were to create my dream team for any project, I would want a couple of people who know data analytics, or my personally preferred term of statistics. For me innovators of the future are going to be the people who possess the ability to tie to seemingly unrelated things, processes, information, data points, ect. together through statistical analysis and show their relationship. But then the most importantly, blend these seemingly unrelated ideas into something tangible -  act on the information they have attained. 

My thought on this idea of innovation is that we will be capable of changing behavior, update processes, develop better predictive validity, and create products never dreamed of. - are you in?


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