How to Solve Problems and End your Struggle, by Thinking Innovatively
If a person knows how to think creatively and innovatively they can solve almost any problem that may come their way.
Each of us has a creative spark. The question is “can we take it to the next step”. In doing so they may apply these sparks and birth new ideas, or build new forms, devices, methods, and concepts from them. This we call innovation, for lack of a more definitive word. Innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing social or business needs. Such innovation takes place through the creation of more-effective products, processes, services, technologies, or business models. Today we usually learn about these innovations through social networking, as consumers, and RTPs*.
At its very core, it is both a process and an outcome. An innovation is something original and more effective and, as a consequence, new. These processes and outcomes can appear in many forms. Some innovation slowly evolves and become part of the fabric of society. Other innovations, often because of advances in technology and Big Data* are considered disrupters as they break into society. Examples of these disruptive innovations would include smart devices like personal computers, tablets, and cell phones, eBay, Paypal, Amazon, Uber, etc.
Innovation is related to, but not the same as, invention, as innovation is more apt to involve the practical implementation of an invention, (i.e., a new and improved ability to make a meaningful impact in the market or society, and not all innovations require an invention. Innovation often manifests itself via the engineering process, when a constraint that is being addressed or a problem being solved is of a technical, physical, or scientific nature.
As I have already stated, the very term innovation is not easy to define. While a novel device may be described as an innovation, in economics, management science*, and other fields of practice and analysis, innovation is generally considered to be the result of a process that brings together various novel ideas in such a way that they affect society. As an automatic response to human interaction, innovations often arise, are created, or found experientially to meet growing demand.
Though innovation often includes original invention, it often includes the creative use of old ideas in new ways.
Innovation usually involves 3 steps.
1. The creative process
2. The realization that a specific and new idea is taking form.
3. The form realized, as products, services, and processes.
Though both creativity and innovation are closely tied, creativity always precedes innovation.
Where creativity is concerned with thought, word, and behavioral processes applied when attempting to generate novel ideas, innovation is concerned with the implementation of new ideas. Specifically, innovation involves some combination of constraint/problem/opportunity identification, the introduction, adoption, or modification of new ideas as they are applied to a group’s or organization’s needs, as well as the promotion and the practical implementation of these ideas.
In the domain of human potential, innovation can become a catalyst for personal growth.
In collaborative environments, innovation may be linked to positive changes in EEPPSA and quality. In fact, innovative thinking is magnified in collaborative environments. However, recent research findings highlight the complementary role of organizational culture in enabling collaborative processes to translate innovative activity into tangible performance improvements. Organizations can also improve profits and performance by providing work groups opportunities and resources to innovate, in addition to employee’s core job tasks. This is one of the sources of the great advances made at the pioneering and influential Bell Labs.
One of the challenges for creative thinkers in any group is that innovation often has a disruptive effect on familiar habits and patterns. Most defined groups require a proper structure in order to retain effectiveness and productivity. Still, since the external environment is dynamic and in flux, it is necessary to create and nurture an environment of innovation to maintain stability. This requires that leaders and influencers need to break away from traditional ways of thinking and use change to their advantage. In a time of uncertainty doing so takes us beyond risk and opens the door to even greater opportunity. Our work is changing with the increase in the use of technology and both companies, and individuals are becoming increasingly competitive, and also more collaborative than ever.
About the author: I am a game theorist and self-improvement coach offering advice for innovators of all levels who are dealing with obstacles and constraints.
Learn More About Applied Game Theory and Innovation
Most of my Medium stories related to self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, and gaming are anchored into the concept of Applied Game Theory. This idea explores how and why people make certain choices. Researchers into game theory have won over twenty Noble Prizes. The movie “A Beautiful Mind” is about the life of John Nash, one of the pioneers in game theory. Learn more about this powerful tool for self-improvement in the Medium.com article below. It was written so that a 12-year-old can easily understand and apply the simple 3 step system. The article also includes a short video interview of me with Jim Selman a pioneer and thought leader in leadership, business success, and innovation.
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