Purpose, Creativity and Innovation

I cannot insist enough with our entrepreneurs who will take hopefully our economy to a new height, of the importance of Purpose and Innovation. Nikos Mourkogiannis, in his book, “Purpose and Innovation”, cites generously Microsoft and Toyota in their quests in focusing relentlessly and consistently on their Purpose to bring Innovation in their ventures.

“Innovate or Evaporate”, you will recall, was a campaign brought some 2 years ago by NPCC. Since what has happened? Have we experienced an evaporation of our innovative spirit? I understood that NPCC is following up with an Incubator program. Well done!

Micheal Porter, who I admire and regularly search for his great thinking puts: “Innovation has become perhaps the most important source of competitive advantage in advanced economies.”

Are we nurturing a culture of Innovation in Mauritius? Wrong question, my friend Watson would dare say! We cannot afford not to create and not to nourish such a culture. It is a necessity full stop. The question would rather be: “How to we create a culture of innovation?”

I do not know if we have a department of “creativity and innovation” at our University of Mauritius or any of our tertiary institution. I feel that we could start off with one. Mauritian, like any human being, is endowed with a creative mind and ingenuity; what is lacking, is the awakening of the creative mind. Creativity, according to E. De Bono, world renowned “Creativity” author, now based in Australia, states that is a process which can be taught and learned.

Creavitity should be taught at all stages of schooling. The development of the habit of “lateral thinking” will enhance the creative spirit of the individuals. Could we introduce creativity in our school curriculum at all levels?

I had the chance of meeting some Malaysians who are interested in the subject of Creativity and Innovation. We could well learn from Prof. Augustine Ong, who has been recognized by his country, bestowing him wih the title of “Tan Sri Datuk”, for his forward- looking mind and for his great innovative work in the field of Palm oil cultivation and industry.I was honoured to have met him and to have had a glimpse of his wonderful achievement first hand.

Prof. Augustine Ong, to maintain the spirit of creativity in Malaysia, has created and is now driving an organization called “Minds”. Why can’t we do likewise?


#1 Sam Gilpin on 10.30.06 at 1:34 pm

Dear Joseph,

I work with Nikos Mourkogiannis at Panthea and was very interested to see your comments on his book and his recent S&B article.

If you or your readers want to know more about Nikos’s ideas, he has set up a website: http://www.purposethebook.com There is also a profiler on the site to help you find out your own Purpose and that of your company.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes


#2 Olivier on 11.01.06 at 8:46 pm

It is very true. Innovation is what separates the strong from the weak in developed economies. However, with something that echoes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs), we need to fix the plumbing in Mauritius before bringing in swimming pools.

Innovation might find a roadblock in Mauritius, because first, people need to think!

I know some areas of the Mauritian economy is more mature than others… where do you think could that creativity be applied?

#3 joseph on 11.02.06 at 12:30 pm

Innovation could indeed mend big leaks and deficiencies of the economy of the country….
The most important aspect, I would urge, is creating the momemtum of continously using our creative mind,in fact it well be,simply put: using our thinking differently.Reflecting on what one has done before and thinking how one can do the same stuff better the next time and try it out.
Nurturing “the spirit of innovation” simply could be doing tomorrow better, more cleverly what I have done today as opposed to the doing the same stuff every day in complacency.If this habit has become an unconscious competence at micro level, then miracles are likely to occur at the macro level.
Innovation then is to be used at all levels and to be pervasive, to create the desired culture of innovation.

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