“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.”
The above quote is a mute testament to the significance of innovation in our lives, bar none. Those looking at change as a positive influence tend to find ways and means to innovate while the ones scared of it reserve the right to rebel.
Taking a long, hard look at the events unfolding right before our eyes, over the last half a century or so, we can easily see the massive forces of change in practically every sphere of life. Humans may be the harbingers of innovation, but their quest for adapting to the blowing winds of change makes a direct, but not always positive, impact on all other life forms.
The unprecedented growth in human population creates numerous challenges concerning both food and housing. To build houses, we need timber that requires chopping of entire forests. As if this was not enough, we also need cement, sand, rocks, granite, as well as many metals and minerals. This necessity demands innovation, demanding faster and more capable mining equipment. No wonder, robots come to play an essential role in the mining sector. I am sure you can identify the contribution of innovation in clear terms.
Producing food for the masses is not the final answer in the absence of related necessities like fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides, sufficient quantities of water, equipment for gathering the farm produce, its storage and transportation to the market. Vagaries of nature create one major challenge for the farmers in the discharge of their duties to the consumers at large. Little wonder, we need innovation to stay ahead of the obstacles each step of the way.
Michael Eugene Porter, a renowned Professor at Harvard Business School, known for his theories on economics and business strategy, says “Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.” Anybody keen to analyze the above statement will be hard-pressed to find any falsehood in these words. Tell me how else could there be any economic prosperity in the absence of innovation in ideas, systems, products, design, capacity, and/or services?
Industrial designing is a specialized field that offers substantial growth opportunities to those prepared to take on the challenge.
Innovative ideas prompt us to be creative, so we may quickly adapt to change. Newer, ever more advanced systems help us come up with answers to questions beyond common man’s control. Examples galore in the fields of technology, communication, aviation, science, medicine, farming as also any other area you can think of. Industrial designing is a specialized field that offers substantial growth opportunities to those prepared to take on the challenge. But for these creative minds, we might still be living in the stone age. An entire thesis could be written on the subject of innovation and yet leave a lot of areas untouched. As such, we need to take a long, hard look at our immediate surroundings and identify how almost everything has changed over these past couples of decades, not even half a century.
Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.
Coming from Bill Gates, these words carry a lot more weight since he is the one that helped rewrite history through mass acceptance of computers in our daily life. It shall not be an exaggeration to identify him as one of the undisputed leaders in innovative technology. Examples of this pervasive innovation can be found in almost every walk of life. As a matter of fact, numerous reports attribute the rampant growth of computers to further innovation in telephony, communication, production, and products distribution, medicine, education, insurance, farming, even shipping, logistics and so much more. Experts claim almost 90% of the total global population is touched by computers in one way or another.
Yes, there are large numbers of distractors, more so, the deniers that enjoy finding faults with progress, thanks to numerous kinks in the “Windows” program used by Microsoft. However, it will help us a great deal if we took into consideration the following quote: “There has been opposition to every innovation in the history of man, with the possible exception of the sword.”-Author Unknown. I guess the absence of the opposition could be triggered by the inevitable use of the device on the necks of the opponents.
The twentieth-century American physicist William G. Pollard once said: “Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”
It is not my intention to coax every reader of this post to focus on innovation at the cost of pursuing their individual pursuits. As a matter of fact, we can lend a much valuable helping hand to the innovators by giving them positive feedback on the salient features of what we use. At the same time, pointing out their shortcomings in an amicable fashion can go a long way in helping the innovators eliminate possible kinks.
We, as consumers or end-users, play a significant role in either encouraging or discouraging innovators in the fulfillment of their dreams. Rather than rejecting something outright, it will be better to weigh the obvious negatives against the not so apparent positives that could be embellished further. Why should we do that? Well, the answer lies in our willingness to adapt to change with the help of the innovators, the risk-takers that put their time, money and resources on the line so we could have more convenience, pleasure, enjoyment, and all other related benefits we know as ‘the bang for our buck.’
Last, but not the least, I would like to quote John Stewart Herrington, the former United States Secretary of Energy under President Reagan during his second term: “This nation has said there are no dreams too large, no innovation unimaginable and no frontiers beyond our reach.”
As discerning individuals, it is our primary obligation to make sure the innovations we proudly embrace shall be the real catalysts of universal well-being, not just humans alone. We must introduce the necessary change in our own lifestyle so all other hapless life forms may as well continue to enjoy their own habitat. Let us make a concerted effort to restore for them a clean atmosphere devoid of harmful gases, free of pollution caused in abundance by plastic, noise, chemicals and bright lights. Let us then take the fear out of our wildlife, birds, insects, animals, creatures of the sea, as also all flora and fauna.