The Innovation Mantra

Today I ran across this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

As for the future, your task is not to see it, but to enable it.

That could be the innovation mantra.

We innovate when there is a gap between where we are and where we want to be. We can do this in a number of ways, and many of the most important ones come from changing the way we think about things, or the way we do things.

Geneva Invent the Future Workshop sign

And it’s not enough to just see the future – it’s not enough to just have the great idea.

We have to enable the future – we have to make the idea real.

As I’ve said before, our job is to invent the future.

(picture from flickr/GO_TO_2040 under a Creative Commons license)

Student and teacher of innovation - University of Queensland Business School - links to academic papers, twitter, and so on can be found here.

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5 thoughts on “The Innovation Mantra

  1. I really, really like this, Tim.

    Inventing the future is one thing. Enabling the future – at least, in my opinion – means much more. Rather than invent (and patent, market, distribute, and profit from) the future, enabling the future implies helping more people to invent. That’s powerful stuff.

    Is it better to innovate, or to teach others how to engage in divergent ideation, explore ideas in the emergent stage, and soundly converge on those ideas which pose the greatest benefit to society?

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