Some define innovation as a lack of self-restraint. But one has to admit that lingering in a painting of what once was (Mark Fisher) generates stagnation and that is not the way of the world. El Bulli’s celebrated chef Ferran Adria instead defines tom innovate as to not copy. Montroll (1982) introduces MAXENT as a method for predicting human behaviour, because people tend to employ every position of the applicable Gauss distribution.
You have to agree that it is hard to do something that hasn’t been done before and that is why some avoid it. Seth Godin writes in The Practice that you can choose the pattern to live by. You may opt to follow an industrial one that guides your everyday activities by their expected outcomes. However, this offers different activities compared to those that establish and reinforce your identity from your own perspective (your self), and others’.
Your identity is the resultant of continual interactions with what you encounter in life. Following the industrial pattern, Godin continues, your identity instead gets to be made up of outside elements not of your choice. This affects the way you perceive and the way you are perceived. It generates a difference of perspectives on your identity and leads to friction in interactions. And, Godin argues, your products contribute to the world.
According to Godin in order to contribute to your self and to the world you must innovate by making something new in a creative process. Activities that follow an industrial pattern tend to point in the direction of desired (final, systemic) outcomes. The pattern inspires confidence in the outcomes because everything in its organisational realm is directed there according to a plan.
Or you follow a pattern that develops your identity in both of the senses. Here the approach is to do stuff and then find out what we like, instead of defining what we like and then acting in accordance. Inspiration has no practical meaning to the professional, but the need to act continually has: love what you do replaces do what you love. By following what you (turn out to) like while doing it, you find the pattern that contributes most to our identity and to the world.
Start today doing stuff without a preset plan in order to find out what you and others love about the process. In this way you develop an individual pattern that contributes to your identity guiding your future actions. The awareness that, although innovative, it may not lead to anything requires generosity without aiming for a final outcome, but for a beautiful process.
This requires the faith that this approach will add value to our selves and to the world. It can not provide confidence that we act so as to benefit the performance of an industrial system. This faith originates from the conviction that that radical pursuit of creativity lasts because it corresponds with your self and with the world.
You are more authentic if regardless of outside influence you determine your identity through actions that accord with what you favour. Heidegger qualifies the identity as authentic that results from disallowing external influence to shape the mind without conscious decision. Outside ideas as a consequence rarely remain unscathed leaving a trace on your mind. And in that way you contribute to innovation.