Innovation lies on the edge of traditional thinking. Traditional thinking tries to frame emerging innovation into previous knowledge which limits the comprehension of “innovation before us”. Traditional thinking about something new tries to frame things behind us rather than before us.
We’ve been taught to think inside the walls of a corporation. Inside these walls is process, procedure and policies aimed at applying old knowledge to pursue a marketplace with new products and services. However, the very definition of something “new” falls outside the constraints of corporate silo’s of control and containment. To pursue innovation one must think outside of the traditional walls of past knowledge and in fact apply new knowledge being created on the edge of conversations.
How Important is Innovation?
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced his country was “pursuing an innovation-based model of development.” Why should we care if China puts innovation at the center of its next five-year plan? In fact, why worry about other countries whose government policies push innovation? After all, Google, Facebook, and Apple, and all new technology firms all have “Made in America” stamped on them. Right? Wrong. <
The geography of innovation is changing. For much of the past the baron’s of American industry led the world. Today the world is in fact leading America. Have you noticed who we are borrowing from to keep our economy in tact? The answer, China.
In a world where geography is no longer a “container” of knowledge, innovation or industry the landscape of economic development is changing before our eyes. Competition is no longer driven by market share rather by mind share. Mind share is driven by innovation. Like a mustard seed innovation starts out small then flourishes into the minds of many who become aware of it and desire to consume what it produces. The seed of innovation rest in our minds and is transferred to other minds through conversations, exchanges and relations.
Conversations, exchanges and relations are no longer contained by geographic borders. We now live in a world with no borders and conversations and relations flow seamlessly. Innovation sits on the edge of these conversations and those seeking it outside of the context of what they think they know will realize it and create things for others to know.
The Hub of Innovation
The magic of innovation, once mainly centered in corporate hubs, now rest on the edge of conversations on and off line. Conversations on the edge start from the exchange of knowledge people share about anything, everything and with everyone regardless of entity or geography. The new “hub of innovation” has no container rather all the seeds of innovation rest in between our ears and in our hearts.
The human network is learning the real meaning behind “freedom of speech” that can no longer be contained by “the corporation or the government“. This freedom now has a new reach. In the past the human network had limited conversational reach contained by physical dimensions and relations. Today there is no limit to the conversational reach and thus innovation will be accelerated without containment.
People are learning to collaborate with increasing independence from their country or corporation of origin…. Craig Barrett, chairman of Intel, said his company might not even qualify as American anymore.
Just as the fall of communism led to a wider pool of labor and capital, so too will the global spread of innovation create a wider pool of knowledge for everyone to share. In the past, economic benefits have gone mostly to the first mover—the innovator, entrepreneur, or creator. Tomorrow the economic benefits will go to everyone that moves with the seeds of knowledge being planted everywhere.
Look and you will find, ask and it shall be granted. However, only when we are enabled to inventory that which we know or want to know. What we know or want to know is not contained by any corporation or government rather it rest within we the people.