This used to be a head turner. And in many cases it still is. Companies use it ad nauseam. Most vision speeches start with it. Call to action messages almost always make it the center stage. Its like you do it or you go nowhere.

What’s wrong with it? Nothing, other than the overuse and abuse of the term “Innovation” and its various derivatives.

To me though, what is wrong with innovation is not innovation itself. It is the association of innovation with a corporation or a business. Why should innovation be the sole forte of a business? What literary license do corporations have that gives them ownership of the word and the glowing after effects of actually innovating something? Thankfully no one business owns the rights to innovation. Thank goodness for that.

More simply, why can’t we individuals innovate ourselves? Leaving the 0.0000001% of the population who are already at their innovated best, the rest of the us have a constant need to innovate ourselves and serve the purpose that we have been called to serve.

It was a shocker for me to associate the word to my own self. After all, didn’t I get where I go to simply by doing that? Or, what more academic somersaults can i perform to catapult my life into stratosphere.

My first act was to be comfortable with the need for innovation in my own life and most certainly outside the corporate context. In the process of gaining increased familiarity with the concept of innovation in my personal life – I realized two areas where I could apply it generously.

  1. Questioning the existential imperative – the very essence of what I am doing with my life. Is the life I am leading now, the one that I was born to lead? Or how do I apply “innovation” to my life and find my purpose and align my life with that?
  2. Confronting the practical realities of life – as in – what “innovation” can I apply to everyday activities that I perform? If the act of innovation can help me rethink and redo an otherwise mundane task, increase efficiency or reduce cost/time or improve quality then my life gets that much better leaving room for more – yes – innovation.

Getting used to applying an otherwise corporate-y concept to my very own personal life took a some effort. But once in, the benefits are worth the effort tenfold. Hands down.

What did you innovate today?