What is an IT Innovator and Why Innovate?
What is Innovation and Why Innovate?
Innovation means coming up with new ideas and approaches that break new ground, push the boundaries and open up new ways of doing things.
Innovation occurs when someone comes up with a new approach that changes how the world works, how people work with each other or how they conduct themselves.
It is not necessarily about the person or organization that comes up with the idea first. It’s how they applied this new idea to their context that makes it innovative. Think of Apple with their iPod, or Google with search engines. Think of Post-it notes. Think of building architecture.
There are three types of innovation, and each has an important role to play in educational change.
Continuous improvement means making small changes to current systems and practices.
We work with what we have now, but we continue to improve it. We are never satisfied with what we have; we want to improve and refine our methods, learning more each time we do. It means closely observing how we currently do things, and asking for feedback, listening to advice, being open to positive criticism, and then applying this feedback.
Continuous improvement takes current practice to best practice.
Incremental innovation means doing something in a different way because it is more effective; does the same thing better or more efficiently or does the same thing with fewer resources.
Incremental innovation is often achieved by adopting ideas that already exist elsewhere, but applying them in a different context.
This may mean that an old idea is transferred to a new setting or that existing ideas are embedded in a new setting.
Incremental innovation starts with the present situation and works forward to find a solution.
It means observing the practices of others and adopting the relevant practices for our context.
Transformational innovation means completely rethinking the way we achieve a goal and in some cases this may mean redefining the goal we are trying to achieve.
Transformational innovation means coming up with a new idea or approach and applying this in a new context. It involves risk and its introduction will sometimes completely transform the organizational landscape and render old ways of doing things out-of-date and redundant.
Transformational innovation starts with the future in mind, and works backwards to provide a solution.