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Innovations must be radical to overcome inertia: Steve Leonard, IDA

Zafirah Salim | May 20, 2015
The concept of innovation in the past refers to original ideas and discoveries, but it has now evolved to one that embodies "existing ideas done in a new way".

Overcoming the inertia in innovation

Leonard highlighted that the concept of innovation in the past refers to original ideas and discoveries. Over the recent years, this concept has gradually evolved to one that embodies "existing ideas done in a new way".

There is now more mixing and matching of current things as opposed to birthing breakthrough ideas.

He went on to cite a book titled Zero to One by Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal, which noted that true innovation is about going from "0 to 1" (doing something that's never been done before), not "1 to n" (doing more of what's already been done).

The bottomline is that to be a true innovator, we have to learn to challenge the status quo and truly do our best to "think differently and come up with a new idea," said Leonard.

Building on this idea of innovation, Leonard added that innovations must be radical to overcome inertia. He explained that things which are not in motion do not move unless there's a force exerted on it.

"There are so many people saying that they are unhappy about this and that; but at the end of the day, they don't bother translating it into action so things don't get moving," said Leonard. "To do something cool, you have to take things a step further. Take a huge stride into an unchartered territory and run with it. It can be something fearful, but trust me, excitement will precede this fear."

 

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