On Innovation

What picture comes to mind when you think of an innovator?

Let me guess – Probably somebody like Einstein or Edison.. Shock of unkempt air, absent minded and able to think of crazy unheard of ideas. Or maybe some creative artist or story writer who has the ability to think out of the box?

Jack Welch (legendary GE CEO) would shake his head at that definition. He defined innovation simply – Take an existing best practice and make it slightly better. That’s it! He wasn’t particular about where the ‘best practice‘ was from as long as it was indeed a ‘best’ practice. So, during his tenure at GE, he was insistent on ensuring they took the best ideas in the industry from all around them and in the process of executing them at GE, they made changes and innovated continuously.

I found this very uplifting. Now, if I was looking to build a system for myself, all I needed to do is look around for people who do something better than me, understand how they do it, copy their method and tailor it to my needs. And voila! Innovation is on it’s way..

Jack Welch simplified ‘innovation’ in my eyes. And what’s more, I realized that after a lot of copying, you tend to truly understand what works for you and, in true time, develop your own style!

Source: Weekly book learnings