The Most Important Factor in Innovation is Humans

Updated: Jan 19


In times of omnipresent innovation strategies, campaigns, events, clusters, ecosystems, hubs, spaces, labs, methods, processes, and tools, the most critical factor in innovation seems to get forgotten: Humans.


Humans think about their lives and our world. They dream, create visions and ideas, set goals, take action and drive things forward, and finally realize innovations. It might sound relatively good and probably remains true, as long as humanity keeps Artificial Intelligence (AI) and similar technologies under control.


Why should you care about the human factor in innovation?


Well, the described human thinking and behavior might not be as widespread as one might assume. Because in the year 2019, still millions of people have been reading newspapers printed on paper, purchasing and driving cars with fossil fuel engines, and buying and wearing wristwatches with less than smart functionalities. Does this indicate openness to innovations? Or does it show the willingness to adapt and change?


In the eyes of technology innovators, all these things and many others should be sent to their well-deserved places in contemporary exhibitions of museums and theme parks.


We also should be aware that buying an electric or hydrogen-powered vehicle or a smartwatch means adopting up-to-date technologies. These products are innovations of the recent past and have been available for a couple of years. Furthermore, just consuming these innovations is different from innovating - in terms of human thinking and acting.


If you are genuinely interested in innovation, it all comes down to human mindsets and behaviors. The Oxford Dictionary (June 10, 2019) defines mindset as the "established set of attitudes held by someone "and behaviour as the "way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others. "


Innovative mindsets and behaviors can lead to outstanding results in terms of business and innovation. Interviewed by Kevin Rose (September 07, 2012), the famous technology entrepreneur Elon Musk provided slight insights into his way of thinking. He explained the "first principle thinking "on the example of electric batteries. Furthermore, the research of Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen (2011) identified the vital behavioral skills of very innovative and successful entrepreneurs.


There are further reasons to take action: A global survey of the recruitment agency Kelly Services in 2013 found extensive media coverage (Ansuya Harjani, September 17, 2013) and revealed that a shocking 48% of the employees didn't like their job. The situation in your company might not be that extreme. But even a lower percentage rate could have a substantial negative impact on your business and reduce its chances to survive in a fast-changing world.


More recently, the Mercer Global Talent Trend Study 2018 showed (Alan Kohll, July 10, 2018) that "working with purpose "is an essential expectation of employees. How can you provide meaning to the jobs of employees and your most promising talents in particular?


Empower them to develop an innovative mindset and innovative behaviors. It will enrich their jobs, unleash their creative potential, and boost innovation in your business. As a result, your employees will become happier, and your business will flourish.


Get in touch with me today to discuss your needs and desires and find out how I can help you and your organization to reach growth, profit, and success through technology innovation. Schedule Your FREE Discovery Call Now.



Sources and Recommendations


Dyer, Jeff, Gregersen, Hal B, & Christensen, Clayton M. (2011). The innovator's DNA : Mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.


Harjani, Ansuya (2013, September 17): Nearly half of global employees unhappy in jobs: Survey. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2013/09/17/nearly-half-of-the-worlds-employees-unhappy-in-their-jobs-survey.html


Kohll, Alan (2018, July 10). What Employees Really Want At Work. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2018/07/10/what-employees-really-want-at-work/#955a8515ad3b


Kurzweil, Ray. (2005). The singularity is near: When humans transcend biology. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-singularity-is-near/id361932532?mt=11


Oxford Dictionary (June 10, 2019). Definition of mindset. Retrieved from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/mindset


Oxford Dictionary (June 10, 2019). Definition of behaviour. Retrieved from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/behaviour


Rose, Kevin (September 07, 2012). Foundation 20 // Elon Musk [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-s_3b5fRd8


Photo: AEPerspectives.com

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