- Posted by Gerhard Pramhas
- On 19. December 2018
Human history is full of successful innovations. They include a progression of new products, services, or methods that were implemented and are still used successfully, such as the telescope, the hot air balloon, or the first manned space flight to the moon. What can entrepreneurs learn from the history of innovation? First of all, there was only one opportunity during history for a first man on the moon like Neil Armstrong.
The time of the first man
Have you ever read the book “First Man” or seen the movie about the first manned flight to the moon? Neil Armstrong’s biography not only tells his fascinating story as the first person that ever set foot on another celestial body, but it also tells about the time that he lived in.
It was a time when the emerging air and space industry took great risks to gain new knowledge. At the beginning of his career, Neil Armstrong thought that he was born too late to see great, radical innovations. It turned out that he was wrong.
There is no better time for innovation than the here and now. And there will never be an opportunity again to be the “First Man” on the moon like Neil Armstrong.
There is always a good environment for innovation
The book goes on to examine the time when Armstrong was a fighter pilot in the Korean War. This detail is interesting because it shows that progress and innovation were always closely associated with the military and still are today.
Most people probably know that Armstrong was a test pilot after his time in the military. However, less people are probably aware that he was also an aeronautical engineer. It is certain that he picked up a lot from his time in the military that helped him as an aeronautical engineer.
What I would like to say by this is that you should use your environment and the experiences from your environment. Other people have dealt with the challenges of learning from their environment that you will deal with, and other people will deal with them after you do.
The results of Apollo 11
I still personally remember Apollo 11 on television. There are still a lot of different innovations left for humanity and a successful history that we can learn from.
US President John F. Kennedy specified the goal on 05/25/1961, and NASA implemented it. For innovations it is crucial to specify a clear goal and to consistently pursue that goal. Remember that when it comes to technology we are still living today from old innovations. It is time to consistently and purposefully work on innovations that the coming generations can live from.
This brings me as a business consultant to another conclusion. During innovation projects, you must be successful at never losing sight of the goal. The goal is a new product or new service. Once the goal has been defined, all team members must agree to work towards the goal. And it must also be clear that failure is not an option. Before you start the project, consider whether you can reach the goal. If the answer is yes, there is no reason anymore to not reach the goal.
I am aware that there is currently great pressure to innovate. And as paradoxical as it sounds, companies can also devour innovations. I have dedicated this blog article and the next one to this topic so this does not happen to you. Coming up is another lesson learned from the Apollo – see Gene Kranz.
Until then I can only give you a tip: look at increasing your ability to innovate as a strategic company goal.
What are your thoughts about innovations in companies? Contact me. Either by phone at +43 676 9560164 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am glad to help you with my more than 20 years of experience in all areas of innovation management and technology consulting.