The Connection Between Innovation and Problem Solving
Innovation can be defined as the ability to create something new based on knowledge that has been attained. In order for something to be new, it must be radically different from things which are already in existence.
The nature of innovation is important when it comes to problem solving. Often, the goal of those who use innovation is to solve problems. Innovation plays an important role in virtually every aspect of your life. Though it is usually connected to business, technology, or engineering, and can even be useful on a personal level.
You may be wandering what I mean when I say that innovation can be used on a personal level. Well, as an example, many people have problems with their personal finances. They carry bad credit, or they find it hard to get ahead financially. Their inability to improve their personal finances can be defined as a problem. However, many people fail to improve their personal finances, because instead of looking at innovative ways to manage their money, they do things in a predictable way. Doing things in the predictable way will lead to results which are predictable.
Innovation is not something that has to be unique to society as a whole. It could be unique to someone on a person level. Even if a certain way of doing something "exists," it may not be something you are aware of. By using it, you can improve the quality of your own life. People who are skilled at using innovation to solve problems will typically "think outside the box." They are not tied down to a traditional way of doing things. To these people, doing things in a traditional way will not bring them the results they want. Why is this? The answer is because the results for doing something in a pragmatic way are already known. They are predictable.
If you are having trouble solving a problem, it is likely you are not looking for innovative ways to solve it. When many people are faced with a problem, they try to solve it by doing things in a pragmatic way. While this may solve some problems, what will you do in a situation where the problem that you are trying to solve has not been previously considered? This is a situation where you must use innovation. Those who are able to use innovation to solve problems that are not well defined are experts at the problem solving process.
The sad thing about innovation is that while it has been successfully used many times to improve society, many societies do not encourage it. Instead, they encourage people to follow the crowd. This is very common in some societies in the Far East. While group think can be helpful in some situations, it does not encourage much innovation. Many of the great discoveries which were made in the last 200 years were made by individuals who did not follow the crowd. They were innovators, and if you wish to become good at solving problems, you must become an innovator as well. Being a follower is easy. Being a leader or innovator is not.
If you plan to have your own business, your ability to solve problems in an innovative fashion may mean the difference between your success or failure. It is not enough to go to college to get the necessary skills to succeed. You must be able to take the knowledge you’ve obtained and use it to create something unique that didn’t exist before. Companies which are innovative generally defeat those that are not. Sometimes you must toss out the rule book and begin looking at things from a different angle. To become skilled at solving problems, you must learn how to take the road less traveled.
Innovation is a concept that is directly connected to creativity. Albert Einstein said that "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." If you can understand this quote, you will have one of the tools it takes to become a good problem solver. It is the ability to take knowledge that you have gained and apply it to problems in a unique way that will allow you to become an great innovator.