The word innovation is a much used banner of business leaders, academics and entrepreneurs. People like me and Lynn who work to leverage technology to solve big problems, and hopefully change the world for the better, pride ourselves on being called innovators. Even this podcast is guilty of using the word innovation as our title and brand. The irony behind his proudly used king of buzzwords is that, originally, "innovation," which is derived from the Latin word innovationem, wasn't a compliment. It was an accusation. It wasn’t first used as a noun of action – “a new idea, device, or method” – until the 16th century. Until then, “novators” were treated with suspicion. A novator was someone with deviant political or religious beliefs undermining the traditional power structure.
As we use the term today, innovation refers to the process of executing ideas which result in the creation of value for an organization and its customers. An innovative idea should be able to address a targeted need, issue, goal or objective that an organization or group has outlined. The innovative idea should use new methods, original thoughts and creative thinking. It must ultimately result in an advancement to a product, process or service.
I think though, that in order to get out of the “buzzword” way of thinking, the focus should shift away from the term itself to the development of skills and behaviors that are necessary to actually implement ideas.
61% of respondents participating in PwC’s Innovation Benchmark report say embracing an open innovation approach to generate new ideas is definitely something that is recognized as beneficial to any organization. Yet, nearly three out of four global executives believe a lack of skills is an issue facing their industry. And 64 percent say this problem is restricting their ability to innovate. (GE Global Innovation Barometer)
The guest on this episode, Brant Cooper, understands that business and personal success is about building innovative skills and behaviors. He is an expert at teaching leaders how to find personal and economic growth through creating new value for fellow humans. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur and CEO of Moves the Needle. With over two decades of expertise helping companies bring innovative products to market, he blends agile, design thinking, and lean methodologies to ignite entrepreneurial action within large organizations. Brant leads a team of 4 to produce a $2M annual run rate. He has helped more than 60 enterprise clients build an “entrepreneurial spirit” in their organizations.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traumatic brain injury (or TBI as you have heard of it) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. TBIs contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths. Every day, more than 150 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Fifty people will have died from a TBI while you listen to this podcast.
Those who survive a TBI can face effects that last a few days, or for the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI and figuring out when a blow has caused impairment, a step on the way to impairment or no effect has vexed scientists and engineers for decades.
Most TBIs are basically concussions…but the statistics are scary…3 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in the United States.
Because no two people are exactly alike, no two brain injuries are exactly alike. So how can we create accurate and predictive diagnostic devices that inform us about not just what immediate damage was caused, but what may happen and how to measure whether we are fixing it?
A Pittsburgh-based company is using its 30 plus years of experience in eye tracking technology to help with the diagnosis of TBI. NeuroKinetics is a world leader in eye tracking technology and non-invasive neuro-otologic diagnostic testing. Central to their I-Portal® product mix and advances in clinical eye tracking is the premise that the eye is the window to the brain.
The guest on this episode, Neuro Kinetics CEO, Howison Schroeder, has been building a successful company that is based on technology that precisely tracks the reflexive responses of the eye in response to a battery of stimuli. Their research has shown that the detection of abnormal eye movements can indicate the presence of over 200 diseases and medical conditions. The technology is non-invasive and could become a powerful indicator of disease and prognosis. Concussions are not just clinically important, the estimated commercial market for an effective concussion diagnostic exceeds $1.5 billion.