There are two types of forward progress:
1. Incremental progress (one-step-at-a-time)
2. Innovative progress (one-giant-leap forward)
In the world we live in today there are also two types of people.
- Those that work towards efficiency and “sucking” the last inch of profits out of a well. They are specialists at incremental change. These people are Incrementalists.
- Those that look for a breakthrough way forward, solve an inherent problem, and look for ways to remove tasks. These people are Innovators.
Innovators are ever more powerful, ever more efficient and that much smarter than Incrementalists.
…think of the 80/20 rule…
An Innovator knows that it takes only 20% energy to create 80% of something. They are smart enough to realise that this is the part that people notice. Then, they toss it off to the Incrementalists who try ever so hard to take the 80% to 100%, with all the hard work and effort.
I like to think of Innovators as “breathing the life into something”. Whilst, Incrementalists are merely “survivalists” keeping the breath going.
The question remains…Who do you want to be?
A recent toothbrush advertisement brought this thought to the forefront of my mind. I find it odd that in 2012 we are still “innovating” with toothbrushes. Don’t you?
There are adverts every day about new modifications of products. Modifications that had millions – if not hundreds of millions – of dollars sunk into them. Modifications that “improve” a product so minutely it makes NO SENSE to have spent all that money on R&D. And yet, out come the advertisements promoting this “NEW GREAT PRODUCT”.
Are we becoming a world of perfectionists? Are we insanely pursuing the perfect product at all expense (monetarily, and environmentally)? Are we clinically OCD; so much so that we demand and expect that our products are perfect?
I think we are a world of perfectionists.
Is this perhaps the reason for the lack of real growth in the world? We sink all of our money into products that already exist (problem has already been solved) in order to perfect the solution. And yet, we spend little attention and money on real problems and real solutions…Real INNOVATION.
Perhaps if we stop being perfectionists and consider becoming Innovators we will achieve real growth and prosperity.
Just a thought that crossed my mind. Please share your feedback and opinions in the comments below.