I was tempted to pull an old additional qualification course trick and read everyone’s submission so far and then cut, paste and mold my own submission. But I decided against this because I think this has to come from me first. My intention is to read everyone else’s as soon as I’m done. Then I suspect that my idea of innovation will change. And why shouldn’t it? Is that not how innovation is nurtured?
For me, innovation doesn’t happen on its own inside my head. It needs some ideas that don’t come from me. Some of the most innovative things that I’ve ever been a part of didn’t happen because of me…they happened because of US. Some of you were a part of them and you don’t even realize it. And I’m not sure I remember exactly what you said or did that influenced this. It just happened because of something I, you and most likely many others, contributed in many different ways along the way, in an airport, at a conference, through Skype, on Twitter in a retweet or direct message, etc., etc., etc.
Innovation is a living being with many appendages…some instrumental and some not so much that are all necessary to influence change in a particular direction for a particular purpose. And absorbing an experience is just as (probably more) important as contributing to that experience. The more people involved, the more absorbing required.
Because of this “moving target” nature of innovation, it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when it happened and sometimes it just sneaks up on you. The moment you realize that it’s there, you realize that it was probably there for a while and you just didn’t know it.