Stop saying innovation
The word without content
Saying this word sounds like some magic formula to solve recent and deeper human ambitions. If your company is in crisis, the advisors insist on innovation. If your boss demands the impossible, he says that if you just innovate you’ll figure it out. If you want to get free from your job and become an entrepreneur, investors and development entities will want your idea to be innovative. The indiscriminate use of the term “innovation” by everyone for everything has made it meaningless.
Saying and repeating it is like stomping around the house shouting, "Let's use a hammer!" "Let's use a hammer!".
Any unsuspecting visitor will only be left wondering: what do you need a hammer for? What's the problem? Do you need to hang up a picture? Remove a nail, maybe? Does the neighbor need it?
Innovation is no more than a way to reach something, a tool to tackle a more concrete problem or pursue a more sublime goal.
Things get worse when this empty word is given nuances and categories. Incremental innovation, radical innovation, disruptive innovation… And of course, here the semantics geniuses get into endless philosophical debates, because some argue that only what is disruptive is innovation, that any minor innovation is not innovation at all. This debate is all the more useless when we don’t even know if we want to hang a picture or remove a nail.
Its meaning today contributes little to the world of entrepreneurship or work in general. Getting rid of it will pull us out from the spiral of semantics and philosophy and will make us focus on defining the problem and taking action. Any action, no matter how simple, cliché, or old-fashioned according to the theorists… if it solves the problem, it’s innovation.
So let’s stop saying innovation, and instead make it take on the meaning of taking action to change, modify, and improve. Let’s focus on identifying the action that will lead us to our goal, outlining it in detail, making a plan, and carrying it out.
Just stop saying “innovation”.