Innovation - you can not be serious!

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Apr 28, 2016

How is innovation communicated? What feeling and meaning do we attach to innovation, not merely rationally, but also emotionally. During #innochat on April 28th at 12noon Eastern time, let's explore this broad and important topic in a free flowing discussion (without a prepared set of questions).

This is about the intent, sentiment, and feeling of innovation, rather than about the exact meaning of the word or whether it applies to a specific case.  It is about what meaning the field of innovation conveys and the conflicting feelings of motivation and reticence that we feel about innovation.

Issues to ponder

Here are some questions that, while not intended to structure the discussion, you might ponder.

What feeling and meaning do you attach to messages, reports, and stories about innovation?

And how are the feeling and meaning affected by how, when and where you see or hear them?

How realistic or fantastic do you consider them to be?

How do they change your imagination of the future?

How will you react, respond, and behave differently?

Two extreme "exhibits"

Here are two fundamentally different "exhibits". They are at opposite ends of the spectrum in so many ways that we can hardly compare them, except that their theme is innovation. So this might be a long stretch and/or a bumpy ride, but here there are.

One exhibit is the ongoing round-the-world flights by the solar powered Solar Impulse aircraft. Extreme aviation engineering and operational procedures have enabled this feat to be achieved. The combination of elements is barely imaginable by most people. Yet it's real. It's arrival in San Francisco, flying over the Golden Gate Bridge, brought this project to the attention of more people. At the controls, for this leg of the journey, was Bertrand Piccard, who initiated the project. During the flight he spoke with the Secretary General of the United Nations, in New York, during the meeting to sign the Paris Climate Agreement. And he continually communicates the importance of the innovations in this project in terms of their meaning for the human race.

The other exhibit is this article Why I'm Joining the Innovation Party which can be read in archived form at that link, but has since been taken down. Well known products and organizations are described in a mixture which can easily be imagined (otherwise it wouldn't be believable). But it's a joke. The attention it has received has been magnified by the lampooned target reaching for his lawyer. For an overview, see Satirical column removed.

Fact or fiction

When seeing, hearing and thinking about areas outside our experience, most of us have difficulty in distinguishing fact from fiction.

What affects our interpretation of innovation?

What do we take seriously?

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