Thursday, November 11, 2010

Innovation is perspective...

These days there is a lot of talk about innovation. Innovation in technology. Innovation in education. Innovation in politics (the idea has it's own website). Innovation in research. And on. And on....

... What does all this mean to me? Innovation is in the eye of the beholder.

Take for instance New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He took control of the NYC school system 8 years ago. That was an innovative move. Innovative in the dictionary definition of "something new." However the Latin origin of the word "innovation" is "innovātus" which means to renew. Innovation can therefore be seen as the process that renews something that exists and not, as is commonly assumed, the introduction of something new.

So maybe innovation isn't all about new things at all. Maybe it has little to do with cutting edge technology and "progressive" ideas. Maybe it's just about doing old things in a different way. So maybe Bloomberg appointing a media mogul as Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education is truly an innovative idea.

According to some, Joel Klein, the outgoing Chancellor/former Clinton White House attorney was an innovator. Klein himself views what he did as innovative and transformative. Now maybe Cathie Black, the new Chancellor appointee (pending New York State waiver due to lack of education background) will continue that innovation.

Does innovation really exist or is just a matter of doing something, different or otherwise, and putting the "innovation" tag on it? Regardless of what others think?

Was Joel Klein actually an innovator despite all the detractors?

Is Cathie Black innovative by default since a media mogul as Chancellor of Public Schools is a different, new, and "radical" idea?

I'm starting to think the word "innovation" has become diluted.

Me? I'm an innovatively thinking innovator in the field of innovation. It's true. I just said it...

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