I have been cracking my brain about invention and innovation for some time. Looked at design thinking for innovation as companies like IDEOS are using. Recently, I came across the concept of innovation hokey stick of America. America looks at another counties in terms of their DGP growth curve and say, this country is in year 1976 (just as an example) compared to America GBP curve. They explain that innovation has contributed to the hokey stick of national prosperity. This concept is explained in the video here.
For the ease of reference, we could call this phenomenon as Innovation Hokey stick as well. As per the video we are still in the handle of the hokey stick. To me there are many factors contributing to this phenomenon. Technology readiness level of our country is low, thus inventions do not go to market.
At the same time, systems and sub systems of industries are under developed. What industry in Sri Lanka has a good depth of supply chain. I cannot recall any. So we are left with only one industry, where you do not need much of supply chain to do innovation, I.e. software industry. At least we need to capitalize on this industry.
I was fascinated to understand another phenomenon. Let us look at the seeds for invention. Arther C Clerk, in one of his novels introduced the mobile phone, after some times it became a reality. In the spider man comic/movie the Green Goblin used a flying pod, today it is a reality and there are many other uses the people are using similar pods for. Iron man suit is becoming a reality. I was amazed of how the environment give them the seeds of innovation.
Let’s look at what happened in Sri Lanka. I feel our movies and novels are dragging us to the past. They do not give us inspirations for innovations. From where else could we get inspirations for creativity and innovation. I trust, if we do not get inspirations from the environment, we will have to live in the handle of the Hokey stick for ever.
How we could make an environment for creativity… this is open for discussion.