Looking back over the past few days, here are several stories (some national, one personal), each with innovation lessons tied to “newness.”

A New Skydiver

This week’s story about Daniel Pharr, the first-time skydiver whose tandem skydiving instructor died during a jump, is quite incredible. Daniel, realizing that there was a problem with the instructor during the dive, manipulated the toggles on the chute to land safely even though he’d never skydived before. He tried to administer CPR once on the ground, but the instructor had suffered a heart attack during the 13,500 foot dive and died.

A New President

Amid major roadblocks on several people he’s nominated to high level positions, President Barack Obama said plainly that he had “screwed up.”

A New Taste Treat

Heading out to watch Sally Hogshead on The Today Show last Sunday morning, we went to Eggtc., a breakfast and lunch restaurant southeast of the Plaza in Kansas City. One of the specials was “Oreo Pancakes.” It consisted of two chocolate pancakes with a vanilla glaze in the middle, plus whipped cream and crumbled Oreo cookies on top.

What Are the Innovation Lessons?

  1. Innovation isn’t always about “creative” pursuits; it can depend heavily on composure and the ability to improvise in real-life situations. Daniel Pharr demonstrated the importance of these skills in a remarkable fashion during a life and death situation.
  2. Spend your life pursuing your distinctive talents – those that are most exciting for you. From Daniel Pharr’s account of the skydiving instructor’s last statements in the plane, it was clear he was doing what he most loved. If you have to go, that’s probably a pretty good way, pursuing your passion.
  3. Mistakes are part of innovation, and admitting them is part of making them. The key is learning and improving from the mistakes so you don’t make the same ones again.
  4. You can “borrow” ideas and apply them in new ways to great success. There wasn’t anything “new” in the Oreo pancakes, but I haven’t been so filled with excitement and anticipation about food in a long time. They were very sweet and very wonderful!

That was last week in innovation. I can’t wait to see what happens this week!

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3 Responses to “Saturday Special – 4 Real Life Innovation Lessons for the Week”

  1. Leslie says:

    Mike, those pancakes look very interesting! They would have to be dessert for me, though–not something I think I’d eat for breakfast. On another note, I went to the website for the restaurant and was disappointed they don’t have a single photo of any of their food on the site. They need to show their yummy offerings up close to draw in more people like you (and me).

  2. Mike Brown says:

    Leslie – Maybe they need a talented photographer to call them up and offer to do creative pictures of their food for the website! Hmmmmmmm……Know anybody that would fit the bill?



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