Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Innovation is the key to rising above

The election cycle is generating a lot of talk about the role of government. Some tell us that it should stay out of our lives and others are asking for help from Washington. But, if we don’t collectively come to terms with what our expectations are from government then with each election there will be a course change that will undo some of the good from before the last election.

In a series that is examining the goals of a successful community, the blog has outlined four concepts that can be found in any successful community. They are protect, educate, innovate and build. Protect and educate have been discussed in previous blog posts. Today we will examine the importance of innovation.

Sometimes while doing research for this blog, a change in the understanding of the topic can come about. This is one of those times. Innovation is not just an invention though many think of it that way. An invention is the manifestation of an idea. Innovation is a change in the way we think about things and the way they get done. At its root, the goal of innovation is to improve, to renew and make better. It adds value to products, services or systems.

Innovation is developing solutions to problems that haven’t been thought of before. Too often, communities look at problems and bring out the very same solution that has been tried many times before. If as a community, we are to succeed, we must attempt to solve persistent problems with new ideas. That means that even if the current solution is working then we need to make sure that a new approach won’t work better.

Innovation means developing new systems for government. Many systems that are currently being used don’t achieve the policy goals established. To continue without challenging the results is foolish. Keep in mind, just because the system developed to solve the problem hasn’t achieved its goal doesn’t mean we should abandon any attempt to solve the problem. We just need to find the right solution.

Our evolution as a species was based not on following our DNA programming, but by allowing our imagination to see beyond the problems to the solutions. By just following the DNA solutions that was programmed into us, we would still be on the ground competing with every other life form. But, because we were able to think creatively, we were able to rise above and build a world to our needs.

Innovation was a key to that.

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