Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Innovation: Who Does It?

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Innovation: Who Does It?

Article excerpt

Entrepreneurs and innovations are the engines of economic change. Peter Drucker says classical economics "cannot handle the entrepreneur but consigns him to the shadowy realm of `external forces,' together with climate and the weather, government and politics, pestilence and war"

The entrepreneur is the independent variable in the world of innovation. The development of technology has been predominantly an evolutionary process. It is the entrepreneur who typically couples the vision, resources, commitment and execution with technology to provide a better innovation to a market problem or opportunity.

MIT economist Lester Thurow, says, "In the century ahead the economic game will be played on three levels (national, company and individual levels) companies will play the game based on the skills they employ, the capital investments they make, their technical prowess, and their ability to globally source and sell new products.

New start-ups that grow rapidly to become big multinationals will be an important part of success. The new, rapidly growing start-ups will not appear without entrepreneurs. Social regulations and attitudes will have to permit industrial flexibility if entrepreneurs and new companies are to emerge."

According to Peter Drucker, "innovation consists of the purposeful search for changes and the opportunities that such change might offer. Purposeful search for changes" gets to the roots of who the innovators are and "opportunities that such change might offer" addresses what the potential impact might be.

Innovators purposefully search for innovations. Said another way, change agents purposefully seek change. Innovators are naturally driven to find solutions, increase efficiency, make bad and good things better, explore, discover, develop and progress. While nearly all entrepreneurs are innovators, many scientists, politicians, educators, civic leaders also can be classified as innovators.

Innovation can occur anywhere and by anyone, but throughout history technology-based innovations are most prominently recognized and associated with entrepreneurs such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright brothers. …

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