What's wrong with innovation?
As you would expect, I am a believer in innovation and how it can help businesses both big and small to grow. I read lots of articles describing what innovation is, how to innovate, how to apply innovation within your business.
But sometimes it is important to get outside of the filter bubble we create for ourselves.
I came across this article with a differing view of innovation.
We need to stop glorifying innovation. Here’s why.
The author posits the idea that:
...if we want to create a balanced society, which can sustain itself while continuing to progress, it’s time we come to terms with the reality of innovation, and stop neglecting the other components of a productive, progressive society.
and what is that other component - maintenance.
...our obsession with innovation leads us to devalue or deprioritize maintenance, which is necessary to keep our world running. It’s far more appealing to invest money in a new tech startup that has the potential to change the world than it is to invest in repairing a bridge, or making upgrades to a highway system.
The guy writing this post did so before the Genoa Bridge collapse.
The Business Heirarchy of Needs
You may have come across the "Heirarchy of Needs". It is a theory of Human motivation first proposed by proposed by Abraham Maslow in 1943. I won't go into a detailed explanation, that can be found here, but one of the key tenents is that the lower needs must be satisfied before a higher level need can influence behaviour.
In the bottom layer, Physiological, there will be things such as : Food, Sleep, Shelter.
In the Safety layer there will be things such as: Financial Security, Health and wellbeing.
I have a view that there is a Heirarchy of Needs for Business as well.
In that Heirarchy, the bottom layer should contain: Customers, Thing to sell (Product or Service)
The next layer should contain things should contain things such as: Maintenance
Innovation would appear higher up, in layer 3.
So what is wrong with innovation?
I'd say nothing, innovation is an important aspect of a business, but to start to work on innovation, it is important that a business has some other block in place first.
What do you think? Does your company glorify innovation?