Innovation & Creativity in Business

ppt-farnsworthinventi571a_w300In the past several weeks, a number of events have occurred to make me think about the nature of innovation and creativity.

First, the local theater performed The Farnsworth Invention, about the invention of the television. It’s a masterfully written play (by Aaron Sorkin) exploring themes in business, copyright, invention and innovation surrounding the inception of the television. It certainly made the audience examine these complex themes without providing a clear answer.  What the play did clearly, was demonstrate the phenomenon of multiple discovery, a theory that suggests innovations are often simultaneously being invented or worked towards by many individuals or groups that may or may not be aware of the others’ endeavors.

Then I stumbled upon this great video about the elements of creativity (Everything is a Remix, Part 3 by Kirby Ferguson)…

Next, one of my colleagues attended a show recently whose theme was Innovation in Outsourcing.  At the show, he was surprised to hear many of the attendees find it difficult to get service providers to consistently innovate and improve products. He felt it was because many of them worked with larger, more inflexible companies. We find that our size not only fosters, but speeds innovation because of our flatter organization structure and open communication. It’s not unusual for representatives from marketing, finance and HR to sit in on operational meetings. This provides different perspectives on the opportunities and issues at hand. Everyone knows the details of how we serve our clients and their customers, and each has a hand in providing innovative solutions.

outliersAdditionally, I’ve been reading a lot of Malcolm Gladwell recently, Outliers, The Story of Success, specifically. He demonstrates how success is an intersection of opportunity and hard work.  The ability to work hard, does not alone determine if you will be successful any more than the fact you are a genius.  When it came to the television, Philo Farnsworth worked hard and was very bright, but it was David Sarnoff with all the resources (and thus, opportunities).

If you’re looking for some ways to jump-start your innovation and creativity, besides divine inspiration, try a few of these sites. If you are looking for an innovative outsourcing experience, explore GCS.



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