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Innovation After Innovation After Innovation
[385호] 2017년 05월 03일 (수) Reporter Park Geun-woo .
For some years, the word 'innovation' turned into a jack-of-all-trades term that every part of the society is now aware of. Politicians use it in their campaigns, presenters use it, and even the cities’ marketing teams started putting it on city-promoting posters. The word surely sounds good, and one would have been able to hear it even in talks of country-scale importance. But somehow I could not see myself using the term in front of people.
In a recent talk given by an entrepreneur that I attended, I was able to confront the reason. The presenter remarked at one point, “Difficult, but not impossible. It can be achieved by innovation after innovation after innovation.” It hit me; “What ‘innovation’ is he talking about?” The wording was fantastically overemphasized, and his innovation was, in a way, a black box that will solve any problem. In a sense, the word encapsulated way more information than it should, and this kind of generalized phrasing is rarely taken care of in most of the talks. Innovation should not be worded in such a way.
It is clear that the word has crashed into a fashionable idea; it can be invoked everywhere but does not say anything. However, let us make this clear; the blame should not be on innovation, but on how we have come to wield the word. Innovation is originally about creating new methods, finding better ways, and designing technologies. It implies the process can be about inventing a new wheel, and risk-taking. At most of the times, these come along with innovations.
So how has 'innovation' has become such a vague idea? One is abridgement of information. When talking about innovations and plans, how should be distinct in the phrases, or the wording should be clear-cut. If this is not carried out well, the team members will be in the dark and it would be unsurprising even if the team will fall apart a second later.
Another is viewing innovation as the most important objective of all. This is the most fatal. Of course, innovation is effective in many cases, but not always. The journey into innovation is almost always costly and it is highly unlikely that it will end up with a genuine innovation. Normalization of abnormalities should always come in advance. It is actually our priority, and this way we can spot the core problems more easily. Focus on innovation can lead to devaluation of the plans. Wisely wield the word with caution. 
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