The 3 i’s: Imagination, innovation and improvement
- Originally Published on October 30, 2015
How do these three words intersect?
In 2013, Deloitte published the global Millennial Innovation Survey. One of its key findings was that: “Innovation is considered to be one of the top three ‘purposes’ of business and just as important as profit.”
At a recent workshop at MaRS, Jennifer Rosart, innovation project manager at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, posed the question: “What is the difference between improvement and innovation?” The smiles on the faces of the workshop’s participants indicated that it was a provocative question. Jennifer expanded on the hospital’s distinction between improvement and innovation by adding the word imagination. Improvement is solving a problem with an existing technology or tool. Innovation is solving a problem by imagining a solution that does not yet exist.
In my work with entrepreneurship education, I am fortunate enough to be involved with an amazing array of companies and ideas. What I find fascinating about all of them is the human capacity to imagine a different way of being or doing.
One impactful example of the 3 i’s in action is MaRS venture eSight. eSight’s goal was to give sight to those deemed legally blind. By imagining a solution that would enable users to have freedom, self-efficacy and confidence with seamless vision, the eSight team was able to innovate a hands-free, mobile and multi-use technology that allows users to move seamlessly through their activities.
Entrepreneurs imagine a different future and find innovative ways to bring it to reality and to improve lives.
If you want to innovate, here are some ways to get started.
Respect your mistakes and learn from them.
Be a dissenter—but not the type who goes to jail! Be the type of dissenter who questions existing models.
Embrace the unknown, don’t fear it.