Innovation — the role of courage

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I had attended a session on innovation where i got insights on innovation in various different organizations — especially at Narayana Hrudayalaya and Deccan Aviation.

I feel that one more key ingredient in innovation is that of “courage” — both at an individual level and at organizational level. I feel that all innovators — both individuals and organizations — posses this quality. However I feel that role of courage is not highlighted as it is very intrinsic to these innovators and they take it as a given. To think of it, many individuals and organizations may have innovative ideas but if they do not have the courage and strength to go ahead, innovation would not be possible. Dr. Shetty and Capt. Gopinath would not have been where they are today if they did not posses the courage and strength to go ahead with they believed in and implement it. That does not mean that they would not have been innovators in their earlier professions — they would have been certainly.

I believe that the challenge for an organization is to make every individual part of the innovation process and the organization needs to build a culture of courage and strength — easier said than done — as I feel that strength and courage is a very individualistic quality however if an organization invests in ways and means of building this culture individuals could develop this quality.

This leads into one more aspect — a belief by some of associating innovation with certain roles/jobs.
I do not have to be a CEO or some one in some fancy job/title to innovate. I believe that if an individual/organization is driven by innovation they would do so in any endeavor they do. For example if I were a sweeper cleaning the streets and am driven by innovation, I would bring innovation to that also and be the best sweeper in the world.

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