Moms: On The Move and In Control
Back to the Good Old Days for 2007

Innovation: The Driving Force For...???

As I think back on the Innovation Forum - and re-read my notes - I'm left wondering why the 'sudden' attention to a subject that, for eons, has sustained the growth of business. After all, the innovators of the world come in all shapes and sizes, and hail back as far as...caveman days, I would venture to say. We, as a society, wouldn't be where we are today if we weren't, by nature, innovative.

I believe that mankind, by virtue of our brain, innovates every day, in some way. Some innovation gets more press but I really believe that everyone of us, every day, innovate somehow, in some way. Now, ladies, don't get up in arms. 'Mankind' is just a word - it means "person" or "people" - and if you come back at me ranting about being innovative with language by using a made-up term for women, that doesn't include the "man" or "men", fine. You are welcomed to do so. I prefer the arbitrary label 'man'...as it has served us for centuries - and I'm happy to be in the Community of Man. [after all, without woman, there can be no man...right?]

One particular speaker at the Innovation Forum stood out from the crowd by being perverse. Stanley Bing's talk on why innovation is dangerous was funny, outrageous, and edged with truth.

He called his talk, "The Downside of Innovation." He mentioned that constant change = pain. That bold action in pursuit of good ideas can be bad - it distracts you and may keep you from accomplishing needed tasks. He chided companies that don't have 'innovation' internally and then hire - oh golly! - consultants! At huge expenses!! Occasionally he recited research, "According to research I didn't do but think is probably true..."  And, he said, tongue in cheek (Ithink) that this whole focus on innovation is an, "Incredible waste of human capital. Excellence of thinking gets lost. [Because] the employees KNOW who the customers are." Perversity sometimes begats - the very change you're whining about. IMHO

I am becoming well-acquainted with perversity in the world, via author and thought leader, Lee Thayer. He believes the world is inherently perverse  - and to move about successfully in it, one needs to match perversity with perversity. I'm quite fond of Lee's assertion that "problems always come on two feet." Hmmm... So, I believe innovation comes on two feet, also.

People are masters of innovation. In this case, 'master' is not a term of accomplishment. You may consider it a term describing the end of something - that at some point you have 'mastered' a problem, a situation, a sporting event or musical instrument. In reality, if one masters such things, it means one is in training. On the path to knowledge that will help them master their desire. Always in training. In the learning mode - to quote Lee. No one who aspires to being a master will ever be satisfied with today's results. No, indeed. It's the task of becoming better - achieving more tomorrow - that builds a masterful foundation. If one can successfully battle life's perversities.

I think innovation is much the same thing. I see outstanding innovation on the net, day after day. I see women (especially) creating new and exciting products or services, the better to serve their community. I see innovation as the driving force - the mind commanding the hands that command the steering wheel, not the engine pulling the chasis.

Let's look at some truly innovative companies I discovered recently...

Wander-Wear: "Wander Wear is a parent-run organization that develops practical information and affordable products to prevent kids from getting lost." To quote the delightful young mother [Alyssa Dver] who started this innovative company, Alyssa_dver

"Working for a paycheck got old and felt like a waste of my true talents. I put too much time, energy and emotion into my work so I was always on the lookout for something that would give me personal fulfillment. This meant, a job that had a demonstratively positive effect on others and a job that allowed me to be creative, be an educator and have the flexibility to be a good mom, wife and friend.

Wander Wear fit all that criteria and pulled at me for 3 years before I had a plan together that could allow me to dedicate at least 75% of my working hours to it. What I never expected was the frequent pure joy it brings to me. Joy from the emails and calls from parents and other caregivers thanking me for helping them to keep their kids safe, joy from helping inspire others to follow their own dreams, and joy in knowing I am leaving a meaningful legacy to my own two little boys. Those things I could never have achieved as a corporate executive in any company and those things are what keep me going as an often frustrated entrepreneur."

Wander Wear was mentioned over on Moms on the Move, which is the next great innovative company I wanted to cite. Linda Swain is on a mission to give credit where credit is due. Moms on the move has been on TV, see here, the list of women highlighted grows by leaps and bounds with some really amazing women showcased on the Moms pages. Without going into a full website review, this site ranks the highest female-friendly score I could give. Swain has covered ALL the bases - from education, to business advice, to parenting, to home & food, and style...what else can the busy 21st century Mom want?? What's innovatve about this isn't the approach, nor the content, it's the personalization. Each and every Mom is made to feel that she's special. And, by offering everything all in one place - Swain is making life easy for busy Moms everywhere. Check out Laura Kelly who takes knitting to another level.

[It's no wonder Alyssa made it on the site with Wander Wear - As Swain says, "The Power to Do and Inspiretm" is what it's all about.]

That's about all for today. I will have more innovative companies in the coming weeks. Tomorrow I have an interview from a Smart Woman Online who is not only innovative, but sure to make the Moms out there stand up and cheer. Stay tuned.

Comments

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Marti

Hello, dear! So sorry for not being around much! I really miss reading all of your great thoughts!

Stopping by everyone on my blogroll.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a glorious New Year!

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