I work in a company, which is known to be one of the most Innovative company of the world. And I feel, it is true (but it is not No.1 definitely). I say that, not because I work in that company, but because when I compare with other companies. Pundits also call my company as a evolutionary company & not a revolutionary. Again I feel this is also true, simple fact that all technology it boasts of, is actually through acquisition. And despite this, it is called an Innovative company. What it means Innovation are of two types: “Evolutionary” Innovation & “Revolutionary” Innovation. Former being an “Increment Innovation” & later being “Market Destructive Innovation”. Former is less risky & give steady flow of increment, whereas later gives risky & kind of “make or break” money making strategy.
Now the reason why I am writing this article is because of Innovative culture flourishing in one of the company, I know quite a bit. The working environment is perfect to think freely, randomly. It’s very good, but then it has it’s other side as well, which reminds me that everything has two sides (agreeing with my theory “Law of conservation” : https://omus.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/law-of-conservation/).
Innovation there, is most often being, infact officially, being measured by number of patents, number of publications etc. So more the patents a person has means he/she is more Innovative. Yes, it is true to some extent, but not always. It has environment, which promotes you think differently, it has got several platforms to pitch in your increment Innovation (economics is must), several trainings to foster that mindset, receptive people & awards for Innovating. The last aspect is what is brining on some negatives. Now, people force themselves to pitch-in with something, just to brag the monetary award. And who genuinely innovates with spirit of Innovation, are being accused, that they file patent just to get monetary funds. Now that’s serious, it is leading to what I call “Innovation Hoax“. It is creating a culture where thought process of making money is fostering thinking culture & not the zeal to improve technology. Also it is discouraing genuine “out of box” thinkers. This can be dangerous in long term: a scenario where return on investment is very less, because most of the ideas will be fake/hoax. If I take my own case, when I propose something, my only & only aim is to improve technology. In fact, I had rejected mine own “n” number of proposals, just because, I was not convinced, technically or economically. But when I do feel, it does bring something good to technology, I try to go distance: discuss with people to get other thought angles etc. Also when technical team gives it a thums down, I kind of agree. I just tell myself, I fail to see angle which the more experience technical team can see.
All this remind of Bhagwad Gita’s main teaching, which seems to be applicable even to Innovation culture: “Just think, donot worry about it’s fruit, if intention & dedication are on right path, end result will be good”.