If I invent a Walkman recharger it’s a fair bet you wouldn’t want one, no matter how clever, stylish or cutting edge it might be; it’s the kind of idea whose time has come… and gone.

With innovation, timing is everything; ideas succeed only if they anticipate the needs of the time.

So when is the right time?

When the old way of doing things just keeps getting harder

Maybe things don’t quite work like they used to; everything’s taking too long, costing too much and/or delivering too little. If demand is shrinking, supply is dropping or clients are moving… it’s time.

When new ways of doing things just keep popping up

Every new gizmo or technique seems pretty foolish when it first comes out but it quickly gets cheaper and faster and easier until one day you realise everyone’s made the move to a smarter way. Everyone except you, that is.

You’re asking your clients for ideas

Even if they could tell you Exactly What They Want, Right Now it’s too late; innovators are already out there offering What They’ll Need, Next.

When smart, passionate people disengage

Organisations lucky enough to have attracted talent in the first place must channel all that imagination and energy to create something new and wonderful. If they don’t use it, they lose it.

When the world changes faster than you do

If the rest of the world is speeding by it’s definitely time to get creative: it’s later than you think.


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Written by Jason Clarke

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Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.