Everyday Computing, Features

The Cold Shadow of Innovation

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

IN a crowded market area, you go past several vendors, all selling and displaying the same items, in the same manner. How do you choose a vendor from whom to make your purchase? Do the vendors even care, since you will eventually have to buy the item from one of them anyway?

The term “best practice” involves doing something in a manner that is consistent with broadly accepted standards for achieving results. Oddly enough, “best” practice becomes better when it evolves to take account of newer ways of doing things. The term best practice is a misnomer — it suggests doing things in the best manner, while actually doing things in a standard, average manner. Best practice is not at the cutting edge, because strict adherence stifles potential. We could say that best practice is good, but creativity and true innovation are better.

What about you? When doing your daily tasks, are you content to keep doing the same thing or do you look for ways to make are better?

Of course there are activities that require adherence to standards. For example, we should expect:

* A standard quality of electricity supplied by LUCELEC;
* Roads repaired to the correct standard;
* WiFi networks secured using strong WPA2 encryption.
For other activities that require more creativity, we should be thinking differently. For example:
* Advertisers should be breaking ground with their ideas;
* Our tourism product should be extraordinary and set us apart from other destinations;
* Your ICT services should specifically address your unique needs.

For businesses, it is good when you deploy your ICT assets in a manner that is standard, because you benefit from the collective wisdom of the past. If intruders breach your neighbour’s computer system, and you have a similar setup, then you should prepare to avoid some unfortunate attacks on your own infrastructure.

Departing from the standard and making changes does not always guarantee success and it carries risks. With the risk comes the reward. According to Edison, the inventor of the light-bulb, he first had to discover: “10,000 ways to not make a light-bulb.”
* The move by US President Barack Obama to improve diplomatic relations with Cuba.
* The revered world statesman Nelson Mandela, appointed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to help heal the racial scars of a wounded South Africa.
* Microsoft including a web browser with their Windows operating system, opening the way to the web.

If we open our minds to the possibility of the new, then we might be ready to take bold decisions and venture into the heat of creativity. Don’t be left standing in the cold shadow of innovation.

Please continue to share your views on these articles. Contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The Voice.

(Dr. Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant, and Chief Technology Officer of Datashore, based in Saint Lucia. His areas of interest include: systems analysis and design, programming, databases, and policy development. This article should be considered as general advice. Always consult your ICT service provider before relying on external advice).

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