“There’s an app for that.” If you haven’t heard that phrase recently, you have probably spent most of your life in the twentieth century, like me. But don’t worry too much. You still may possess some characteristics that might help you to innovate in the twenty-first century. What are they? Surprisingly, some very old-fashioned notions that require more than just “undoing” the work of others into smaller bits, or apps. Consider these characteristics: empathy, humility, compassion and conscience. Some argue that they are the key ingredients missing in the exclusive pursuit of innovation.
“In this humility-poor environment, the idea of disruption appeals as a kind of subversive provocation. Too many designers think they are innovating when they are merely breaking and entering.” Here are a few apps that might illustrate this lack of humility or subversive provocation: analyzing the quality of your French kissing; a “smart” button and zipper that alerts you if your fly is down, and an app to locate rentable yachts. Now I really don’t think I will be using any of these apps in the near future, or probably ever, but I am intrigued about renting that yacht! Just kidding, I have been known to get seasick, a very humbling experience.
So now we might have to think of innovation in a different light. Maybe we can be the most innovative when we incorporate more humanity in this pursuit; have empathy, humility, compassion, and conscience.