These days, the word “innovation” is teetering on buzzword status. We hear about innovative products and companies all the time. But what does it really mean to be innovative?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “innovation” as “A new method, idea, product, etc.”
This definition suggests that “innovative” is synonymous with “new”. But is it really? To truly be innovative, we must go beyond providing something new by providing something better.
“Better” may mean more efficient, less costly, faster, less polluting, more beneficial, and so on…. This is how we have moved from a horse and buggy to gas-burning automobiles and ultimately to vehicles running on clean energy. Innovation has brought us the Internet, inspired space travel, and developed vaccines. Not just change. Progress.
Innovation drives us to figure out how to do things and then find a way to do them better. And then again. And again. And again. It requires creativity, passion, and a hell of a lot of hard work.
As a global society, we must value our innovators in all parts of the world and encourage them to excel. In many ways, our future quality of life depends on it. The innovations of today will be the springboard for the inventions of tomorrow.
Go forth, innovators… We’re counting on you!
“If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” -Thomas Edison