On his blog Medinnovation, Dr. Richard Reece discusses the interconnectedness of innovation across domains of innovation activity in this post. It’s interesting to see his commentary on 10 coming medical innovations in this regard. It is doubly so because this phenomenon is not unique to medical innovation.
Great and transformative innovation stem from the confluence of many different advances and observations. The accumulation of knowledge into the global pool of information provides the water of life for innovation. People seeking to find novel and valuable solutions to needs draw upon this fund of knowledge to synthesize new answers. This is the act of innovation creativity in its pure form.
We should understand the consequence of this as it relates to driving sustainable innovation in the enterprise. Knowledge worker need knowledge with which to work. Connectedness to knowledge of all types is an essential ingredient to create the working environment needed to drive continuous, value creating innovation. This must include seamless access to the enterprise’s internal knowledge, global knowledge from both inside and outside the company’s domain of expertise, and the tacit knowledge of team mates.
Have you ever noticed the degree of innovation serendipity? It is not by chance that different people seem to be creating the same innovation at the same time. Any really interesting, high value challenge is going to attract many potential innovators. Don’t flatter yourself and think you are the only one working on your great project. Also, many potential innovators have access to the same informational resources that you do. This means there is a reasonable chance that when you find a great solution, you won’t be alone.
Yet, it is also the case that most potential innovators have the same poor access to knowledge that you do. This means that you have an opportunity to create an innovation edge. By investing in establishing the best innovation intelligence infrastructure—one that provides seamless access to all sources of knowledge when and how you need it—you can tilt the scales of innovation providence in your favor.
This is a key lesson that innovation leaders must take to heart. You can influence the frequency and value of your innovation outcomes by making the right strategic investments in innovation infrastructure and methods. As we begin to emerge from the past years of economic malaise, companies are all beginning to renew their innovation agenda. Will you take the right steps to ensure that your innovation workers have the right tools to deliver the goods?