Innovation is more than technology

by MPA21 Jul 2015
In today's technologically advanced society, we typically tend to think of innovation solely in terms of technology. For manufacturing companies, it's typically some kind of new machine that reduces waste or improves output. For those of us in the mortgage industry, it's typically some new form of computer software that essentially does the same thing. And those of us who are using these newest technologies are typically thought to be the most innovative.
 
Don't get me wrong, technology is a huge part of what it means to be innovative – maybe even the biggest part. But it is still only one piece of the puzzle. To innovate means literally "to introduce as new." Innovation simply means a new way of doing things, and we can still be innovative even if computers aren't involved.
 
For example, we can be innovative by recreating our business processes. We can redirect how tasks flow from one member of the team to another. We can strengthen bottlenecks in the handoffs to and from vendors. We can develop clearer communication standards that help people get their jobs done.
 
Perhaps the greatest form of innovation is self-innovation, or self-improvement. Another word we like to use for this is "training." When we provide adequate educational opportunities to our employees, we are being innovative in an even more profound way than if we were to adopt the latest technologies. Technology is a big piece of innovation, but it isn't the only piece. There a lot of ways for us to get better at what we do.
 

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