Closing Our Eyes in the Pursuit of Innovation

Just as I was finishing a presentation in Minnesota a few years ago, I knocked a glass of water over onto my computer and completely fried my computer.  Even though I had a presentation the next morning, I wasn’t that concerned because I knew that I had everything on either dropbox of google drive, and everything was saved.  What was important at that moment was that I had access to my presentation for the next day.

I went to the Apple store, and was able to get a new computer, and while my hard drive was working, I knew the old computer wouldn’t work for the presentation.  My presentation was over 1gb and as the people and Apple and myself, all comfortable with technology, waited for it to move over from Dropbox to my account, it seemed painfully slow.  We tried to figure out ways to move the file over using other cloud services, such as Google Drive, or other cloud storage sites.  No matter what we were doing, it was not uploading.  As the store was about to close, and my presentation was not completing the upload, I started freaking out.  After three hours of waiting, I turned to the other three people I was with and said, “Do any of you have a USB stick?”  One minute later, my presentation was uploaded and I was on my way.

In the pursuit to be “innovative” and use the latest and greatest, we miss the obvious answer right in front of us.  Sometimes the best way is the most direct, yet we can easily complicate things.  Far too many people in leadership try to overcomplicate ideas, yet the ability to simplify is often the easiest route to success.  One of the most important qualities of being innovative is having the ability to find the simplest route to solve a problem, not the “coolest”.

Let’s not ignore the direct route when it is right in front of us.

One Comment

  1. Silke Yardley's said:

    love this post…I would agree…while the word and idea of innovation is being used quite frequently, and for sure there is a need for some innovation, there are some amazing practices in school that support kids success that are important…they may not be the latest and greatest ideas…but they are successful in ensuring kids success…

    August 30, 2015

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