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Maxwell McNamara

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Why is innovation such a chore?

Within the age of technology and an abundance of resources, why is innovation so hard for people to grasp? In the book, "Innovators DNA" they point out that innovation and creativity are not qualities that are introduced through genetics, rather they are learned. If this is the case, why do people find it so hard to create associations and develop new ideas? Less than 10% of the world is providing all of the new technologies and products for the rest of the 90%. In any other environment or setting this sort of ratio would consider the 90% to be free loaders or cheaters.
Our society needs more forward thinking people that are taking ideas and seeing them to reality. Although we have more information, technology, and resources at our fingertips than ever before, we are not utilizing them to their fullest potential. What will it take to transform a society from depending on the less than 10% to provide new ideas, to a society that is equally involved and invested in our innovative progression?

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    Nov 19 2012: what?? i'm quite sure that way less than 10% of people baking bread. but we don't consider the 90+% that buys bread "free loaders" or "cheaters". in fact, we need less innovators than bakers. division of labor anyone?
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    Nov 19 2012: People automatically create associations. The more different a person's experiences have been from other people's and the more open he is to considering new ideas and unlikely combinations, the more likely he is to come up with something novel that others have not come up with earlier.

    Innovation in some areas requires serious background work to understand the problems and solutions that have been tried before. In some areas, then, people will not be able to innovate without a commitment of study time and experimentation.

    Invention can be hard work but those who enjoy that sort of challenge may not consider it a chore at all.
    Openness to experience, which includes open-mindedness, is the most important factor in creative achievement but one also needs to be interested in carrying the idea to fruition- trying, maybe failing, tinkering, trying again....
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    Nov 19 2012: Being distinct or excellent or outstanding is not easy; creativity and innovation is quite demanding on the intellect and on time and there is the need for focus(this is a big issue in a world with so much distractions).
    Nothing good comes easy, but those who are willing and strong enough to pay the price usually have laudable results.
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    Nov 19 2012: The thing I see is that innovation is created when the stage is set for innovation that stage is the culture and that culture is the culture of the free market. When you reward innovation you get innovation which has been the U.S. for the first 150 years or so but now it most assuredly rewards mediocrity and being a victim.

    The other thing I see is again culture but company culture. Toyota was the originator of Lean manufacturing or the TPS which creates a culture of innovation. When you look at the sucess of Toyota it is hard to argue with.
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    Nov 19 2012: Is innovating a chore? Do you mean to say why is it difficult to sell ($) a new way of doing something? Those are two distinct exercises. Inventing and improving should not be a chore for a person driven to invent and improve. Public acceptance ($) of the new idea can be, and usually is, a chore. I think you would need to gather more than ten people to be sure of including one inventor/innovator. I don't think 10% of the population are inventors. My guess is closer to 1%. There are Creators, Users, and Destroyers in the spectrum of human types. Users fund and support the Creators . . . if they like the idea being presented. Destroyers are self-explanatory.
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    Nov 19 2012: Check out this TED talk. It answers your question in large part. (This is the RSAnimate verson of the talk.)

    http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms.html