LIT: Innovation

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The world that we live in is changing faster than ever. The technology involved and integrated in our day-to-day lives barely existed ten years ago. However how are so many companies able to stay afloat and ahead of the curve and grow through such a constantly and rapidly changing environment?

Innovation.

According to the dictionary, to innovate means to “make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.” Nearly every piece of technology is simply an improvement on a process that was already in our day-to-day lives. But technology makes things simpler and more integrated for how we function. Innovation and forward thinking is crucial for the college age generation. Many times innovation simply flows, a task is frustrating or overly drawn out, so to solve the problem we must think innovatively.

A key part of innovation is to “think out of the box” as many people say. However I think this is something that comes very naturally to the younger generation. We are not restrained by the dogmas of past generations and are often praised for creative thinking and problem solving. Our mold is much more flexible and enables us to approach problems with an open mind. One thing that I can often find a struggle however is trying to avoid a fear of failure. It’s a terrifying reality for many people and trying to grasp failure as a learning experience as we’re so often told can be extremely difficult. When broken down however it makes a lot of sense. If before beginning a task or large project there is a detailed plan with specific goals and deadlines. This not only means that a schedule can be kept, but it also shows where a possible mistake was made and where the learning aspect of possible failure can take place.

Disrupting the status quo and creating more for the future is key. However, being an innovator does not mean to jump in without a plan or without guidance from other people. While business ideas must be innovative, many of the basics of company success do not change as fast. This is why mentors can be critical. Many businesses fail, and a lot of them have fantastic ideas that have the possibility of being incredibly disruptive. Where they fail is the business side. Innovating is important because it keeps our society moving forward, but at the same time it is just as critical to learn from mistakes and ask for guidance along your journey toward success.

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