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Evan Davis on... nothing new

Updated Friday, 17th July 2009

After The Bottom Line looked at creativity in business, Evan Davis suggested that change is not a series of eureka moments, but a process of incremental engineering.

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In the media, where I work, you sometimes come up with what you think is a fantastic new idea only to go to a meeting and find someone says oh, they did that five years ago or oh, they did that fifty years ago in some cases.

There’s a refrain that there’s nothing new under the sun, and it’s a refrain that actually I believe. Most innovation and invention and creation in business, and it’s incredibly important in business as everybody acknowledges, most of it is incremental rather the revolutionary. Most of it doesn’t pop up like a light bulb turning on in a eureka moment in some inventor’s head, that does happen but most of it is just incremental advance, small progressions of the basics of what someone else has already achieved.

Now that’s good news and bad news. The good news is you don’t have to just sit in the bath forlornly waiting for the eureka moment to strike, the bad news is that there’s a lot of hard work involved. It’s engineering rather than inspiration that is going to get you ahead when it comes to innovation.

That’s my opinion, you can join the debate with the Open University.





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