An Innovator has an Obligation to… Address Need

Editor’s note: we invite you to Kim Chandler McDonald’s weekly interactive forum — to read and collect your comments on  “An Innovator has an Obligation to…”   We hope you’ll  join the conversation!

Week 07 theme is “Address Need”

If, as George Carlin said, “An artist has an obligation to be en route.” Please complete this sentence: An innovator has an obligation to…

Nurture and grow the innovation into the fruit that is needed. After all, innovation is a seed and benefits are achieved when the seeds of innovation are nurtured, the trees of industry grow and fruits of the endeavor are used to their fullest potential by ourselves and our posterity. John Edgerton, President TJ Die Company Inc

– Keep him self updated on Market needs. Isaac Gunasekaran, Delivery Manager at IBM

– Be open to, be susceptible for and identify the need for change and react to it. – Hugo van Veghel BSBA/BSPA, Chairman at Belgian Serbian Business Association

– To know who they’re helping and understand their needs. Caitlin McDonough, Change Catalyst | Community Engagement at Prepr Foundation

– To address IMPORTANT un-met needs. Bryan Mattimore, Author: ‘Idea Stormers, How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs’

Also, creating the need for innovation is crucial… by creating a pressure point or a ‘love point’, so to speak,  you fall in love with an idea. Jeff Bezos fell in love with his idea of the Kindle and he staked the entire company on it. And there was no proof whatsoever that anybody wanted it.  Innovation cannot be derived from some rational mix of data, where you say: all data points here, so let’s do it. That’s not the way it works.Gerd Leonhard, Futurist and Author, provocative Keynote Speaker, Think-Tank Leader and Advisor

The collaboration and cooperation between universities and business is also of great importance to the success of innovation.   Aligning what’s being taught and researched in universities with what business actually wants and needs can only assist in the development of innovative tools.  Frankly, it doesn’t matter how brilliant a technology is, if no one uses it and there is no point having a superb solution to a problem that doesn’t exit.

There is no better way to ponder what problems need solving than to discuss the subject with the intended, eventual enduser.  Better yet, why not include the enduser in the process.  As universities look for ever more necessary funds by capitalising on their intellectual property, it makes sense that they develop ‘products’ that people actually want to purchase.  In doing so, they may yet be able to maintain the ivory towers of pure research that they are used to being able to afford.Excerpt from the author’s essay, Innovating Educating, from Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World

If you would like to ‘have your say’, feel free to join in by sharing your thoughts below, and on the Innovation Excellence LinkedIn group forum!

image credit: Kim Chandler McDonald

Invitation: If you would like to ‘have your say’, feel free to join in by sharing your thoughts below, and on the Innovation Excellence LinkedIn group forum!

Innovation Excellence Cities Tour

Kim Chandler McDonald is author of Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World (available in print as an industry-first, SmartMark enabled, Online Ecosystem), as well as the Co-Founder and Flat World Navigator at KimmiC, a company specializing in  leading edge innovations such as FlatWorld™ – digital technology that empowers endusers to easily capture, collaborate and capitalize on ideas, information and knowledge assets.

Kim Chandler McDonald




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  1. Don McCammon on April 22, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    An innovator creates – takes ideas and puts them together in unique ways – finds solutions to problems and sparks excitement

  2. Eduardo Caballero on April 22, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    To make that a good idea works

  3. Jay Fraser on April 23, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Innovator has an obligation to be unpredictable.

  4. Marshall Barnes on April 29, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Unless they are working for a client or an employer, a true innovator has no obligations whatsoever, just as any true artist has no obligations. Thinking otherwise puts a restriction on them and they will simply innovate themselves, right out of it…

    Think of it this way – (what follows is Copyright 2014 by me, All Rights Reserved) “Most people think there’s a box. Many think they’re inside the box. Motivationalists say you must think outside the box but don’t ever tell how to get out of the box. Thought leaders say there is no box. A creativity master, however, never forgets what they learned as a child – when given a box you can turn it into anything you want – and walk away when you’re done…”

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