Innovation: I suspect there might be quite a few people like me who are tired of hearing this word. I mean, it’s hardly innovative when you hear that a business is innovating anymore. It has become a kind of ‘keeping up the Jones’ affair, and while I fully support innovation (in its truest, most authentic sense), most of what is innovation is just ‘more stuff’.

I’ve already written about the fact that there is just way too much superfluous information in this world. I mean go Google but I find it pretty funny that its mission statement is to ‘organize the world’s information…’. Might I just say that 17,000,000 million results for my latest search (which, by the way, was Google’s mission statement – I thought I better check it was still the same) is hardly good organisation. You Googlers might want to reconsider 1. Your mission statement or 2. Finding better ways to cluster info… Just as a suggestion for your innovation department, you know, when they’re finished with Google Glass and driverless cars…

Anyway, back to my point. Innovation is not stuff. It is not doing something bigger, better, just like or more of. That’s just capitalist nonsense. I propose a radical shift in the thinking of innovation (wouldn’t that be innovative?). What if we ‘don’t do’ and look at ways to fix what ‘more stuff’ has already destroyed? What if we made less, borrowed, reused or shared more?

Instead of stuff, we need to look at mindsets.

Change people not build products.

Changing ourselves… who would have thought?

Innovation is happening but it can’t be summed up as just digital disruption and an obsession with trendy startup culture. Instead, you will find innovation in farmers’ markets, sustainable products, biodegradable or reusable packaging and alternative energy sources. You will find it in people looking at ways to share, be kinder and rediscover community. You will find it in a true commitment to health and wellbeing (not just people cashing in and selling active wear either). It is about humanity, people understanding each other and changing the world (even just a little bit).

That is real innovation.

Leanne Roulston – Head of Education, BRG Learning and Development

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