The word Innovation according to Wikipedia refers to something new, a new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method.
However, innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.
Such innovation takes place through the provision of more effective products, processes, services, technology, or business models that are made available to markets, governments or societies.
Sometimes, we relate Innovation with invention, as innovation is more apt to involve the practical implementation of an invention that is new and improved to make a meaningful impact in the market or society.
Having defined (to some extent) the term Innovation, what then do we mean by the phrase Innovative enterprise?
When you live in an environment where every direction you turn to, all you seem to see are images of poverty, lack, degradation, and to some extent frustration, how do you get the mind to think innovatively?
It is interesting to note indeed that a constructive mind can still function within such circumstances. This is where innovation comes to play. Some call it thinking outside the box, but it really is much more than that.
A person’s circumstances truly can either break or make him. To an active mind, opportunities exist in every circumstance. This is where the power of the person in you comes to play.
Frustrated by his or her environment, the natural thing to do is give up and say it’s over, but the innovative mind says when there is a will, there is a way.
Re-enforced with the right mindset, you have positioned yourself to tap into your creative wealth of resources. So, a quick look at just what it takes to access the realm of ‘Innovativeness’, if I allow myself to take the liberty of using the word in this manner for the sake of this article.
A CASE STUDY
In brief, let us take a look at this really short scenario of Mr. Abel who has had it good in times past, running a business of own his own as a manufacturer. He produced clean table water, distributing them to his customers across the city. He Soon his business grew and of course he made the banks happy with his huge deposits. And his family lived well.
But, life as it is, is filled with uncertainties, something goes wrong and everything comes tumbling down. So much so that he finds himself more or less back to square one. What is the way forward?
At this point, the mind becomes the battle ground and the thing he must conquer if he is to find ‘the change’.
At this point, we all know what Abel musts do, he must come up with a practical solution that will change his current circumstance for good.
DO NOT PANIC
Most of us have been here, the place of ‘panick’, if you panick, you better snap out of it real soon, or else it would take control of the mind, and stupid thoughts set in. So relax.
A mind flustered with fear and panic cannot do much innovative thinking. In the mist of the chaos, one must first find a way to calm down and take the mind away from its present reality.
keep your mind in the state of curiosity, inquisitive, observe, and understand. Remove self-inhibitions – self created mind constraints, assumptions that restrict your exploration. Curious has a way of opening the imaginative facets of the mind.
This indeed could unlock the creative part of you. So it is advisable that you do not prejudge and squash thoughts prematurely, allow your imagination and creative intuition to take charge. Think what can be done differently.
Over and over again, we are reminded that it is all in the mind. One must be deliberate in every thought process, think differently, refuse to think in a natural habitual way or regular way, that is not confined to the existing idea of conventional boundaries of thinking. Even if it sounds crazy, explore every idea until you have come to a conclusive beyond doubt point that the idea itself is impossible.
CHANGE YOUR VIEW POINT
You need to find new perspective alternative angles to the way you think in order to perceive differently. This could find you stretching yourself almost beyond your limit.
At this point, you find you are able to deal with fear of failure, take risks, and experiment with ideas to discover what can work and what cannot work.
In the course of brainstorming as it were, you are exposed to a wide variety of ideas, ideas more less birthing ideas. This also positions you to be informed about the existing and emerging trends and technologies.
Every time you come through with a new idea, innovative as it were, you need to ask trusted friedns around you, people whose opinions and ideas you can trust.
In 2012, we invited Mr. Tokunbo Talabi (Group president Superflux International) to speak to us at the School of Entrepreneurship on this subject, and he gave us insight on just how an Entrepreneur can succeed in a challenging Economy using innovative ideas. See below clips of the presentation.