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Jack Be Nimble, Impact Color & Tech Icons

Weekly eNews update #73

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January 8, 2018

Can Drones Save Lives?

Unless it’s performing a daring rescue like this, probably not. (Although who doesn’t love the Rock).

While we often shine the spotlight on technology, ultimately, the credit is due to those folks who not only stretch the bounds of what’s possible with out-of-the-box ideas, but also thrive in an innovation rich climate.

So this week, we’re wondering, what makes an environment ripe for the acceleration of innovation?

A Flexible Innovation Cycle
The average fruit fly lives 40 days while the may fly survives just 24 hours. You might ask what either of these irrelevant factoids have to do with innovation. Well, nothing. Yet they illustrate effectively why innovation, particularly within larger institutions, is not a one-size-fits-all process. The corporate life cycle for innovation will expand or retract depending on the time, ideas, money and talent invested. Yet the best catalyst for its growth is collaboration, particularly with external partners with smaller, leaner, and more nimble innovation infrastructures.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Consider, for example, robotics entreprenuer, Keller Rinaudo’s Zip Line, the world’s first drone delivery system to operate at national scale, transporting blood to remote clinics in East Africa with a fleet of electric autonomous aircrafts, boasting zero percent expiration or waste.

A key takeaway from Zip Line’s early traction is its embodiment of the innovation mindset in practice, one that is not blind to the opportunity of launching a tech enabled venture in the developing world. Not just in response to a great need, but because “these small, agile, developing economies can out-innovate large, rich ones. . . [to] leapfrog over the absence of legacy infrastructure to go straight to newer and better systems.” Thus, keeping in sight a wide variety of opportunities, while balancing an objective evaluation of which ones are right for your organization’s capacity to execute is critically important.

Trust the Process
Finally, despite our best efforts, whether in the form of individuals, policies, or restrictive corporate infrastructure, innovation blockers are sure to arise. No one ever said innovation was easy. It’s a social process, fueled storytelling to inspire, collaboration to share the load, and conversation to learn from others. So take note and trust the process.


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