(Originally published on "Brainwaves," the blog of the University of Vermont's Continuing and Distance Education Department)
We all love the idea of innovation, right?
I want to be innovative. You want to be innovative. Everybody wants to be innovative.
In pursuing or talking about innovation, the danger is that we give it merely lip service, and treat it as a fad or a fashionable idea to toss like confetti in our meetings and in our marketing. We risk using it as a cheap applause line in our conversations about economic development, public policy, and strategic planning without really understanding or acknowledging what it demands of us.
If we’re being honest, innovation is not a fad. It is not merely a fashionable way to think and talk about business, or the future, or the next big social media gold rush.
Survival of the Fittest
Innovation has always been a quiet and persistent foundation of great companies and great organizations. Success and happiness in business and in life has always been about the ability to solve increasingly complex problems at a mastery level. Innovation is really about that daily and often unfashionable pursuit — “is there a better way to solve this problem?”
And so at every level, in every molecule, companies and their leaders are...