“Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.” – Ecclesiastes 7:29 (NKJV)
Despite the numerous amounts of contributions that innovation has brought to the world there are some negative aspects of innovation. Scripture declares that man was made upright and sinless with the capacity to innovate with perfection, like God Himself. But due to sin man at times has used his/her ability to innovate to do harm in the world and to others. Also, some innovations can be conceived far ahead of its time, too expensive, or unmarketable, which can lead to business instability or even failure. We must, therefore, be cautious as we approach innovation, as not to fall into the dangers of innovation.
Here are seven dangers to avoid:
- Greed - Innovation can be an act of greed. You can be motivated purely to make more profits and accumulate wealth. Though you can make money through innovation, make sure your innovation is motivated by meeting customer needs and improving people's lives.
- Pride - Innovation can be motivated by a desire to boast about our intellect or our genius. This is due to our hubris, which can lead to innovative recklessness. Submit your ideas to your management team and professional advisors. Make sure it is meeting a timely need.
- Fostering sin - Innovation can create and nurture a culture of sin or bring harm to others. If we do not yield our ideas to the word of God, it could go out-of-bounds and lead us or others to sin. Our innovations must be guided by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God must be our guardrail to minimize fostering sin and harming others. We must make sure we do not harm through innovation.
- Being too early to market - Sometimes innovators can be too early to market. As a result, the consumer is not ready for the product or we are not able to garner market acceptance in time. This can lead to product or business failure. Be discerning and watch the rhythm of the market and make sure you are keeping pace with the market direction while still being a change agent.
- Being too much or too quick of a change - Innovation requires change but sometimes too much or too quick of a change can be negative. Also, a perception of change for change sake can be discouraging to a team. Change facilitates growth and growth necessitates change but change must be measured, effective, and timely.
- Unmarketability - Some innovations can be difficult to sell. Just because it is a good idea does not mean you can sell it. An innovation must not just meet needs but it must also be marketable. If an innovation can not be marketed then it will be unsustainable. Make sure you can sell the innovation and do it at a profit.
- Too expensive - Innovations can be costly. It can sometimes cost too much to bring an innovation to market or too costly for the consumer to afford. This can make it difficult to make an innovation sustainable. Count the cost and make sure you can afford to be innovative and find ways to bring the innovation to market at the level the customer can afford.
Despite these dangers, some innovators have conceived their innovations without the intent that it would be used for harm. Also, some had no idea that they were out of step with reality. To avoid this you must make sure that your ideas are God-inspired. Seek the counsel of your leadership team, a good business coach, and a team of advisors. Execute your ideas with prayer and humility to avoid these dangers.
“Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3 (NKJV)
My prayer for you is that God will give you the wisdom and grace to discern ways to avoid the dangers of innovation so you can effectively innovate for His glory.
We will continue our series on Innovation next week