Innovation Championing

Day 47 Week 7 Q1  Thursday, February 16, 2023

Ideas like children need parents—or at least one parent. Ne3 ideas are fragile and, without support, do not live to grow into innovations. This tends to push most innovators into becoming champions for their ideas.  Without a champion, there is no storyteller. Without a storyteller, there can be no story and no one to transmit the narrative. And no story means no stakeholders, which translates into not enough resources.  

Who tells the story first? The story that gains the initial interest? Usually, the ideator. Pre-invention, there is some sort of insight. And before the person with the initial idea can even get far enough to tell anyone else, they have to be able to tell some sort of story to themselves. After all, the originator of anything is the very first stakeholder. And all of us have opportunity costs. Our time is valuable, and there is much competition for how our time and energy are applied.  

Unless you believe in yourself enough to tell a story that justifies your efforts, you will not expend them in a particular direction. And as soon as you convince yourself, which, of course, has to come first, you will naturally begin to convince others. This is called championing; without it, no ideas ever make it to innovation-hood. Your insights will not become applied. It can not be adopted without first applying insight. If you want to convert your insight into income, you must champion it. 

Of course, there is another way, and that is to have someone else be the champion, and this is where innovation advocacy comes in. But without someone to champion an idea, it will be stillborn. Innovation requires championing. And the better a champion you are, the more likely your ideas will get somewhere. Now I realize this may seem a lot like selling and might be a distasteful notion to a creative outlier.  The question is, did you have to sell the idea to yourself, or did it seem inevitable, and you just sort of did it without consciously deciding to do it? Did the idea make so much sense that you had to do it, or were the conditions so desperate that there was no choice? 

Well, the reasons do not matter, but the conveyance of enthusiasm for a particular direction does. If the idea is not emotionally relevant to you, it will not likely be exciting to anyone else either. Be prepared to spend some of your creative energy not just on creating a product, process, prototype, program, or problem-solving. Spend some of this creative energy on communicating and not in a complaining way but in a championing way. Most creators do not regard themselves as business entities, but in some sense, we are all self-employed when it comes to justifying expenditures of vital creative energy.

You have become a champion!