Natural Innovation for Organic Results
One of my mother's favorite sayings was "And this too shall pass." This philosophy was probably the basis for many of my ingrained ideas about innovation. Not only shall this pass, but change is inevitable, and new things will arise.
That is the basis of my journey in creativity, communications and community building. By making change part of the natural order of our lives, we can look at change and progress and even setbacks as part of a flow. "You never see the same river twice," is a more fluid way of expressing the fluidity of life.
The AIM system -- Active Innovation Management -- is based on natural fluidity and growth and evolving from yesterday to tomorrow. The system is based on six processes that make our efforts more productive, more effective...and hopefully a bit wiser to the ways of the changing world around us.
Innovation is like the flowering stage of a plant.
First there must be a system...not only the plant (company), but a supportive environment in which the plant grows and develops. In the natural world that includes the soil, the weather and the community of animals, other plants, bacteria, air and kindred spirits. In the business world that system in the neighborhood, the industry, the government and the global economy, in addition to the team members in the company, their suppliers, their customers and their visiion.
The AIM system is the foundation, the plant that produces the flowers that develop into the seeds of the next generation. The next generation process is "innovation". Innovation is a natural, organic process, but just as a scrawny plant produces few seeds, a malnourished organization produces few innovations. By taking an organic approach to company health and development, wisdom is achieved.
Once the SYSTEM is in place that provides a way of doing business, a base of products and services and a team to create and implement a vision...innovation can blossom.
RESEARCH is the first step. It involves gathering the right information, people and goals.
DESIGN takes that input and envisions possibilities and turns them into plans and patterns and packaging that will implement a good solution to a problem.
EVALUATION is applied to the solutions and ideas and designs ...all the way through launching and marketing the product or service in order to refine results.
PRODUCTION is the point where the real world meets the plan. Only by turning the idea and design into a deliverable product or service can we share our solution with others.
LAUNCH is a high energy, buzzing kind of time in which we test our ideas in the marketplace. With promotion, relationships and salesmanship, we burst forth in blossom and invide the bees to come partake of the nectar or pollen they need to satisfy their needs.
LIFECYCLE is the long lifetime of service to our customers. During this more subdued time, energies ebb and flow in a natural rhythm of promotion, maintenance, upgrades, refinements and more service. This is the stage when seeds are matured for the next phase of productivity.
That's the AIM system of natural, organic innovation. This process can be applied to cost saving programs, to new product development and to the services provided by families, government or nonprofit organizations.
By learning from nature's natural rhythms, we can get in step with a saner way of life.
Innovation doesn't have to be confined to high speed technology that dehumanizes, it can be about smart technology that enhances the quality of life at a pace our economy and our minds and bodies can adapt. That's where wisdom comes in. Both young imaginations and experienced sages are needed to fulfill the natural ebb and flow of life that will make our mothers and fathers proud of our achievements!
That, too, is part of natural innovation.