The years between 1996 and 2000 are a real tribute to what humans can accomplish when we put our heads together to achieve specific goals. One of the greatest achievements was a major BOOM in THINKING! The brain juices were flowing at the speed of light. Billions in venture capital and investment dollars were invested, to produce the biggest boost in medical and technological advances in the history of mankind.
On a personal or individual basis, it is important for all of us to continue to innovate in our businesses, or fall victim to the heightened ideas and creativity of our competitors. I believe that it is necessary to sit down with your managers and employees and discuss your daily business processes. How can you innovate in order to benefit everyone who comes in contact with your company? Are you reaching the needs of your customers or are you doing things the same way that you always have to satisfy your own needs? Do you encourage or reward your people for new ideas, or do you somehow discourage them?
I believe that the highest earning individuals are paid not for the labor performed, but for their ideas and creativity that lead to innovation and results. There are lots of problems in the world to solve and those that can come up with innovative solutions will reap the windfall of benefits. Start thinking creatively NOW! Get the brain juices flowing from all those at your business address.
What exactly is innovation? Itís the process of finding a way to do something better, faster, or cheaper. Remember, we live in a world with SCARCE resources. In other words, thereís a limited amount of coal, oil, wood, etcÖ There are also a limited number of human laborers.
Yet, innovation leads to having MORE of everything, while using up LESS of our scarce resources. That may sound like a paradox, but itís true. For example, when computers were first invented, they were humongous. Sometimes an entire building was needed just to store ONE. A large amount of metal, plastic and material was needed to produce just one. And, due to its cost, only a few people were able to own a computer.
But thanks to constant innovation, a building can now house hundreds of computers. The amount of metal, plastic and materials needed for one computer has decreased tremendously. And itís not uncommon for the average person to have more than one computer in their house. Innovation leads to MORE, while using LESS!
It gets better! All of the metal, plastic and material that has been freed up (thanks to innovation) can now be used for other things, such as cars, cell phones, or whatever consumers have a high demand for.
Innovation also leads to a more efficient use of human labor. Remember, human labor is scarce. In other words, humans cannot work on all things at all times. While one job is worked on, other jobs must be sacrificed. Letís look at an example:
Letís say that a factory employs 100 people to make a certain product. But one day, a machine is designed to replace the jobs of 100 people, and it can perform the task 10 times faster. This causes 100 job lay-offs. This often APPEARS as a negative. But letís look past the superficial:
To begin with, consumers are getting more product than ever from this factory due to the speed of the machine. Second, because the company has to pay out much less in labor costs, it can offer its products cheaper to consumers. So far, consumers are benefiting tremendously: More products that cost less. But there is one more positive that comes out of this: The labor of 100 individuals is freed up to do more important jobs.
This is how a market economy produces more goods, using less materials, and at a cheaper price. Take a look at all of the goods that surround you. Do you realize that itís the constant innovation and movement of scarce resources and labor that has led to their production? Any hampering of this process can lead to impoverishment. If you ever hear someone wish for zero unemployment, they are (usually without knowing) wishing for the world to stand still. Ideas, creativity and innovation, can produce long term positive results for everyone.