Is innovation limited to technology?

Ricardo Melo
3 min readAug 11, 2023

Innovation is something we are increasingly “forced” to engage in as a society, organizations, and individuals. Every day, we face the pressure to do more and better, faster, with less, and greater efficiency.

Innovation means creating something new, whether it’s an idea, methodology, process, product, or service. However, nowadays we tend to view innovation as something more connected to technology and technological or digital products. But, in reality, innovation is a much more complex and profound process that requires a well-defined strategy and focus in order to thrive.

But are organizations prepared for a culture based on innovation?

The challenges that organizations currently face in a highly competitive market, coupled with the uncertainty of the geopolitical and economic landscape, make it increasingly important to view innovation as a cornerstone of organizations.

For example, innovating a recruitment process can lead to better talent identification, greater accuracy and efficiency, and disruption to the current model. This can also provide candidates with a stimulus about how the organization positions itself and what it may offer them in the future as employees. Breaking free from current patterns and enhancing new experiences can not only be more efficient but also yield better results.

We are currently surrounded by issues like work-life balance and proposals for four-day workweeks, which are seen as trends derived from innovation processes or simply as changes in our way of life and the need to seek something different.

And can we innovate these very concepts and ideas?

Instead of talking about work-life balance, we can talk about life first (life-work balance) and how we can innovate our relationship with work and organizations, focusing on improving the quality of our personal lives. How can this enhance and improve our professional lives and affect our individual and collective performance?

Should the four-day workweek be a generalized approach, or could it be something that is individualized within organizations? What improvements (innovations) can we make to this model? Is this the model that serves all individuals and organizations?

Changing these paradigms will certainly be considered innovation, and we should treat it as such within organizations. We shouldn’t underestimate a process that allows for sustained innovation. It’s crucial to establish a framework, conditions, and processes that encourage and develop innovation as a strategic and operational pillar. There is an increasing focus on developing these capabilities within organizational structures, such as the role of Chief Innovation Officer (CINO), whose objective is to manage the innovation process, create new opportunities, and identify and evaluate innovative ideas from both internal and external sources. Having a dedicated role is important to ensure these processes and play a proactive role in the organization’s evolution.

Innovating out of necessity or following a trend is unlikely to yield the expected results because it simply follows a path that may not be the best fit for the organization. True innovation charts a new course that aligns with its culture and essence.

I believe that it’s essential for future organizations to cultivate a culture of innovation within their structure and focus on core innovation processes that enhance outcomes. This will create a more agile organization that is better prepared for change and ready to tackle future challenges on a larger scale.

If “fortune favors the bold,” I dare say that “innovation favors the dreamers.”

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