Monday, 30 April 2012

The Innovative Organisation



Innovation in business comes from having the right people, with the right skill sets and the right corporate culture. Sir Ken Robinson in his 2011 revision of his book ‘Out of Our Minds’ suggests that there are three related stages that lead to innovation. They are imagination (to bring to mind that which is not obvious to our senses), creativity (to take ideas and develop them into something of value) and innovation (to put new ideas into practice). To support and foster innovative behavior it is imperative that employees are encouraged to use their imagination, and to be creative with what they imagine. But our education systems are in many ways responsible for removing imagination and creativity from children as they go through the ‘one size fits all’ system because they were designed to train a workforce for the industrialization of the first world.

There are two things I’d like to suggest. First, business leaders have to allow and encourage networking so that those who are imaginative and creative can share their ideas with their peers and their ideas develop and bloom. Secondly, leaders need to create a forum to allow ideas to be heard and acted upon without fear that the originators will be labeled ‘dreamers’ or ‘time-wasters’.

Of course, not every idea will lead to an implemented innovation, but there are no ‘bad ideas’, just ideas that don’t make it to implementation. Business leaders need to engage more with the education system. We all want to employ creative and innovative people but there are so few of them because of the failures of our education processes. The status quo is not only failing to meet business needs but also failing our children.

The biggest challenge to both schools and to business is complacency.

First published Thursday, September 15, 2011 

Mark O'Neil's blog has moved

This is the new site of my blog Imagination, Creativity and Innovation.  In the next few days I will migrate previous posts here and start adding new ones.