Over the last few years the term innovation has been spoken about extensively in industrial, academic and professional settings. There are misconceptions of two types. On the one hand people with ideas and inventions being portrayed as innovators and on the other hand, people doing genuinely innovative things not being seen as innovators. Both arise due to a lack of conceptual clarity. Therefore, we as a community and nation are not quite sure about whether we’re innovating, and if so, how much innovation is happening. Based on my experience, innovation needs three things; a solution to a problem or an unmet need, a demand for said solution or creation of a demand for the solution, and a way to monetise the solution and its delivery.
In this sweet spot lies Equitus Engineering Limited, the company I founded in 2015 focusing on mechanical engineering solutions, engineering led product development, enabling technologies and engineering driven innovation delivery.
Moreover, Innovation is a journey from Epiphany to Empowerment, as shown in the image below.
Epiphany: The idea strikes
Evaluate: Test the worthiness of the idea against market, company and surrounding ecosystem
Engineer: Develop the idea into a product/solution
Execute: Measure impact, monitor progress and monetise the solution
Enable: people, teams and organisations to do things they wouldn’t have been able to do without said solution
Empower: people so that the next epiphany strikes
As you can see, innovation doesn’t happen by accident. Discoveries happen by accident, so do inventions (sometimes). The process of innovation itself is a bit like a game of football. One needs the right team with the right intent, the right environment and culture, the ability to create chances, and more importantly the ability to convert those chances to secure victory. Then start all over again.