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Is being innovative just a normal human condition?

As a grandfather of very young children, it is wonderful watching them learn about the world around them by using their senses to taste, touch, see, smell and hear what happens when they try to do something. As adults, we are constantly on watch – lest their experiments cause injury.

Some parent by limiting a child’s exposure to what they imagine to be dangerous. Others recognise that life lessons are best learnt by experience and let the child’s imagination proceed up to, but not beyond, the point of actual injury.

I suggest that society is best served by children who have grown up testing the boundaries and whilst so doing, have known that they always have support to guide them should things not turn out.

I see parallels in organisations – to the extent that heavily enforced management styles, to the point of pathological micro-management, limit the ability of the workforce to imagine how the organisation can do better.

I posit that it is a natural condition of humans to be innovative. It is the environment (natural and societal) that reduces our ability to express that which is in all of us.

If we are to improve on what we have, then people of influence should focus on removing impediments to our natural ability – instead of trying to teach us ‘how’ to be innovative.

Moderation in all matters.

Larry Platt is Executive Chairman of The Advitech Group. Contact Larry on +61 2 4924 5400.