An Innovator’s Confession

incremental innovation

I’m not a big fan of the word INNOVATION. Even though it’s central to our company’s tagline, I like it less and less every year. The word innovation is alienating. Unless your title includes “innovation,” most people don’t know what innovation means or how to do it, or they are so critical of it that they avoid it at all costs.

But everyone does know that change is a constant; sometimes it’s even necessary. At the very least, everyone knows that there’s always room for improvement. Improvements in how we relate to each other, how we communicate, how we learn. Improvements in medicine, improvements in our living space, improvements in how we get from one place to another, and the list goes on.

Your staff have a wealth of knowledge, ideas and opinions that can contribute to creating positive change or improvements. And ultimately, that’s what innovation is. Innovation is any type of change that falls along a wide spectrum: on the far side is incremental innovation (any form of gradual change or improvement on what already exists), and on the other far side is radical or revolutionary innovation (the type of change that is completely new or different from what we are already familiar with). You might need either form of innovation or both, but neither will be successful without engaging staff, customers or other stakeholders throughout the process.

incremental innovation

Innovation is really a fancy word for change or improvement. And big changes are always better when you are a part of creating them than when those changes are imposed upon you. By engaging more people in exploring problems with an eye to creating solutions, sharing ideas, experimenting with promising solutions, and learning from each other’s mistakes, everyone would be involved in creating positive change and every workplace would be a better place to work. In fact, I believe the whole world could be a better place.

That’s why you need join-in and not just buy-in. That’s why you need to engage people in creative thinking and not just throw around the word innovation.

Do you need to engage people in creative thinking? Want to chat with me about incremental innovation? Book a call with me or send me an email.


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Sol Santos-Pyne Chief Innovator and Prototype Evaluator. He is always ready to help design, paint, cut and install. Sol will show you what’s possible and will also try the impossible. He is the bravest monkey of all.

Ayla Larzabal Zavitz Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Safety Patrol. She makes sure that everyone is following the rules and having fun at the same time. She is the time-keeper and turn-taking monitor. She helps paint the wood for the monkey bars and will give you great advice on the best accessories.

Beto Santos-Pyne Video Producer and Editor as well as a Reliable Helper during heavy installations. When he is not building intricate systems in Minecraft he is the top ranking swinger on the monkey bars. 

Mateo Larzabal Zavitz is our Media Relations Expert and Installation Helper. Mateo knows what’s cool and what’s not cool. He helps us maintain a realistic outlook on the world and stay up to date on the latest movies and video games.

Matias Larzabal Designer and Lead Installer. Matias has more than 20 years of experience working in construction, 14 years of experience as a dad, 11 years of experience as an uncle, 10 years as a helpful Canadian neighbour and handy-man, and a lifetime of experience as a monkey. Matias is also an artist with a unique upbringing. You can learn more about him and his art on his gallery.

Ginny Santos Monkey Supervisor, Visionary and Managing Director. Ginny is a nutrition coach and entrepreneur who is always looking for ways of involving children in creative thinking and problem solving. You can learn more about Ginny’s other work on NeOle Coaching.

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