Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Innovation: The distinction between a leader and a follower

Your imagination is something that will guide you to the newest disruptive innovation

Published: May 24, 2019 12:12:32 PM IST
Updated: May 24, 2019 12:24:19 PM IST

Innovation: The distinction between a leader and a followerImage: Shutterstock

Today, “Innovation” is about making things better. It is about creating one thing at a time and then creating a competing thing better than the first. It is about wanting something more and then believing that anything is possible, so working to achieve that ‘more’. But now who decides where to stop, what to cherish and what to hold on to, or rather, does anybody? Who will be a new leader and who will only follow instead?

In today’s fast-paced world, innovation is the key driving force of every business and is something that differentiates one particular thing from another. It basically acts as the growth hormone for any future prospective organizations and so it is necessary to look at different aspects, on how to study and incorporate innovation in your current projects today.

After several introspections, there are certain characteristics that can be laid out, to help you think differently and rather look at things with a completely brand-new perspective. Why not, every time you look at something new, you ask yourself the question, how can we imagine differently? Moreover, also look into the idea of using existing available resources and figure out different ideologies on how to apply or use those things in a completely different setting. Inter-connect the readily available, alter the untouched, and believe it is possible. Listen to your imagination, as that is something that will guide you to the newest disruptive innovation.

Take a look at all the new things happening around you. The robots, the artificial intelligence, the internet of things, technology. Did you ever imagine if any of this was ever possible? Until 50 years ago, there were no such things as even mobile phones, or social media, so imagining robots taking over human jobs was a complete no-no. But it still happened, and is still in the process of getting better, all just by innovation. And moreover to say, that all these happening innovations, are linked to technology are instead enhancing human beings with artificial intelligence.

Technology is the most advanced innovation discovered by humans. Look around you and you will be able to count at least 5 things that are an innovation through technology. Even the device, that you’re reading this article on! It’s all somebody’s imagination, penned down to paper, put to action and then made a profit-making business of. On this pace of imagination and application of innovative minds, it is impossible to say . Nothing is impossible if we are . Everything that you imagine can be made today in the form of prototypes, tested and then put out in the market. Your own personal assistant, that earlier used to be jobs for people is now right on the tip of your fingertips, the Siri on your iPhone device or the Google Assistant on your Android, can do all that your assistant can. And the surprising innovation behind this has imagined for it to do even more. Now the tech industry is working towards teaching these bots how to place calls and book appointments and plan your schedules for you. So the young minds, that always wanted to have a personal assistant at the workplace, tick that one off your bucket list!

Robots and artificial intelligence are the next most wanted creations for the day. With all the increase in the amount of information, data, it was impossible for a human mind to compile it all and process it in one’s lifetime. But with the help of artificial intelligence, today the term ‘impossible’ is not supposed to be in your dictionary. Robot’s at the concierge to greet you, cleaning bots to clear the surroundings, facial recognition systems to understand expressions and moods, drones as lifeguards, air-delivery, driverless cars and all that you can imagine is what our future is going to look like.

And that’s the future we should be train for. Long gone is the time to sit and study only through the books written years ago, the trends today are changing and so need to train management students in a way that they are ready to understand and play a role in the future on the upcoming innovations and trends. They should believe in themselves, to think critically in a situation rather than being rational and going by the book method, to be the business disruptors and create the innovations that are going to be world-changing, all until our next student competes to make a better version than the first, and so, the cycle continues.

Dr. Silvia Vianello, Director of SP Jain School of Global Management Innovation Center, Dubai Campus. Views are personal.