The Roots of Collaborative Innovation
This article follows Charlie Smith’s kind request to address Buckminster Fuller’s question from which he created his extraordinary inventive technical and social inventions and projects: “At this extraordinary time of social, political and economic disintegration, with respect to Collaborative Innovation, What is the most important question we can ask, and why?” The author’s answer to this question comes from the central question of life and leadership with respect to Collaborative Innovation: “What choice can I make, and action can I take, in this moment, to create the greatest net value to share with?” In Collaborative Innovation each individual shares his/her own worldview. Therefore, collective intelligence overcomes individual limitations into common wellbeing. In the following sections the author addresses the issues of human worldview, social theory, values, and creativity, under the essence of Buckminster Fuller’s rationale, to elucidate human applied, narrative, and language logic to explain why.
Usually, innovation is often conflated with strategy. Strategy, after all is a coherent and substantiated logic for making choices, while innovation is a messy business which creates novel solutions to important problems. Put simply, strategy is about achieving objectives, while innovation is about discovery, we never know exactly where we are going until we get there. In other words, while strategy creates a clear path to a goal, innovation is often started with a confused approach.
What is innovation then? As a matter of fact, currently innovation means different things to different people. It ultimately is what you think it is. What is a useful definition for you will not work for others, and vice versa. For instance, American business researcher Hutch Carpenter wrote a post outlining 25 different definitions of innovation in 2010 (Carpenter, 2010). He breaks the definitions down into five sub-categories, which all reflect slightly different takes on the nature of innovation. More recently, American business researcher Tim Kastelle defines innovation as “executing new ideas to create value” (Kastelle, 2011). The point is that different types of innovation require different strategic approaches.