Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
November 24, 2014

What is New is Often Not Innovative

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags:

As we enter the holiday season, it comes time to think about what we are going to give our friends and loved ones. There are a lot of products in the market that are trying to get your attention and your money.  Some of them are good and others, well, they may be a waste of your hard earned cash.

Creative, new, or innovative are used as buzz words to get your attention, but it can just be the same product introduced in a familiar way with a little added excitement. When working with innovations and innovators, we sometimes see people trying to develop something new, but often they only end up with a product very similar to the old one.

Take the time to step back and look at what you are doing. Is it really creative, new or innovative, or are you just taking an old idea and putting it in new packaging? If you really get to the core of what you are trying to accomplish and get creative, you will like what you develop, and your innovation will be more than just a flash, but something truly innovative.

Now back to that gift you are looking for. Perhaps you know someone who needs a tie? What about an allegedly new and innovative tie? Take a look at the video below.  It could be just what you are looking for, or maybe you need to keep looking.

November 19, 2014

Creativity Requires Time

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags:

I found this video recently that helps illustrate an issue that often occurs in innovation. People want to rush innovation, but often you can’t. Innovation is a process and it takes time to get from the beginning to the end. If you rush or try to skip part of the process you will become frustrated and probably will not find success.

One part of innovation that most often takes time is the creativity. It can’t be rushed, hurried or done in the midst of distractions. To be successful you must find the time and place to be creative. If you do you will be able to make something truly amazing.

This Blog was originally published October 24, 2013

November 12, 2014

Do you need to bring music to your innovation?

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags:

One of the ways we help people to become more innovative is to help them become more creative. Creativity is not just a talent, it is also a skill that can be taught, worked on and improved. Just like a muscle, creativity grows by exercising creativity. Some of the ways that we have encouraged innovators to work their creative muscles is to do things like write creatively, draw and participate in art, and listen to music.

The following TED video not only validates what we have talked about, but also introduces a new way to exercise your creativity, playing an instrument. It also explains that the muscle we are exercising is our brain and we can help make it stronger and more effective. So, watch the video and exercise your brain and your creativity. It may be the workout you need to help you strengthen your innovation.

November 6, 2014

Risk but not Reckless

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative, Innovation Quotes - Tags: ,

Risk of InnovationIn the past few weeks two events happened that show how risky innovation can be. The first was the failure of a commercial launch to the international space station. The second was a failed test flight of Virgin Galactic which ended in the loss of life. Both cases were working at the edge of current technology, moving materials and people of this planet into space.

While your innovation will probably not end in an explosion or loss of life, you could be putting your reputation or even your job at risk by moving forward. Successful innovators are willing to take risks, but they are not reckless. Successful innovators do two things that move them from recklessness to taking calculated risks:

  1. They see the risks ahead, acknowledge them and then mitigate or even eliminate potential risks and pitfalls. “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash,” stated George S. Patton.
  2. When failure occurs they do not dwell on it, but rather they learn from it. Edison saw it as, “Every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.”

So look at your innovation, take a risk and if it doesn’t go as planned learn from it. It might be what you need to develop a successful innovation.