Avoiding innovation ...

WE ALL know that innovation is the next best step.

At some point, what there currently is, will be replaced. It’s just a matter of time.

The real choice is when and how we respond to this challenge.

All too often, in the place of innovative thinking and action, we see another set logics acted out. It goes something like this.

A basic physiognomy of avoidance

   1. At first, we don’t notice anything at all. We are simply not aware an issue exists.

   2. Next, we ignore it, or just pretend it’s not there.

   3. When its reality becomes too obvious to ignore, we downplay the significance, or impact, of concerns. ‘It is not a problem’, yet.

   4. As it emerges as a ‘problem’, it is countered with an argument which justifies its inevitability. This is the initial, ‘It can’t be changed’, response.

   5. It eventually impinges, significantly, on what we do. It hampers the way we are able to carry on, and it does so ‘noticeably’.

   6. We know we need to do something, so we address the now more sizeable problem in a makeshift and unsatisfactory way – with band-aids, ill-fitting and ill-suited to the task.

   7. The problem, and its secondary impacts, escalate.

And the opportunity for innovative action is delayed, sometimes until it is too late.

At a practical level, we see this played out in the realm of responses to climate change. In healthcare, it is a significant issue in chronic disease and its management. And in politics, of course, it is ubiquitous.

As well as incurring the direct impact of the problem, and its intended and unintended consequences, dealing with the user, community, consumer and patient fallout demands considerable resources.

The issue, which became a problem, is now a crisis. And the sense of frustration compounds.

Of course, we do not need to rehearse this pattern. We can always make another choice.

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Avoiding innovation