Somebody invented it!

24 septembra, 2016/ Inovativnost, Kultura, Službe (v) prihodnosti, Tehnologija/

In previous post I explained that the origin of all products and technology is nature. However, suppose you are currently in a building, it is a very good chance that if you look around yourself most things that surround you are not rocks, trees and rivers. But quite possibly some of the surrounding objects you see were derived from them, i.e. from minerals, wood and water. Somebody some time ago figured out a way to turn a certain raw material into a useful thing. Somebody cut it or burned it or mixed it with other things or … processed it in a million other possible ways. In other words, somebody invented it. Take a moment to consider that every little object or technology in your room was at one point in time invented by a human. Your chair. Your table. Your glass. Your paper. Your air conditioning system. Your touchscreen. Your whatever.

Human capacity to invent is really impressive. In other words, it is impressive what is possible to do just with our brain. Remember, our ancestors invented the wheel with essentially identical biological “hardware” as you today possess. However, culture is not identical. What I mean with culture is accumulated knowledge of people, which is in turn the result of social dimension of innovation. It is this “software” part that makes the difference from Stone Age people. If inventor would have never presented his or her invention to other people, our capacity to invent would not be of much value, because invention would die together with its inventor. With transfer of innovations between generations they do not only stay “alive”, but they are also built upon. Innovation is not just one isolated event. It is also the product of constant tinkering. To use a software release cycle analogy, your chair is not an alpha version, not even a 1.0 version, it is more something like Chair v. 143.12.1. And, importantly, a huge number of people from different millennia participated throughout the development process.

Lastly, consider current job market. Jobs are gradually being taken over by robots and artificial intelligence. Trend is to automate every possible task. Hence, it is reasonable to expect that (human) jobs in the future will list inventing as a part of a job description. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to foster innovation in your organization and how to improve your innovation capacity as an employee. Future belongs to the innovators.