Innovation depends on having a perspective. Perspective comes often from experience and deeper maturity. You do not get maturity if you are been grown-up in a too ”easy” and polished environment.
Some countries deliver innovations more than the others. Regardless on how you measure it there is something special in the ecosystems of Israel. In terms of the technology and innovation there is a continous flow of breath taking achievements. Experience in Israel starts to cumulate when you are relatively young. This is because the society jams so many transformative experiences when kids barely get out of high school. By the time they get to the college, their heads are in a different place than those of basic European or American counterparts. Maturity is a powerful fuel to generate innovations when it is mixed with childish impatience. Military training playes quite crucial role in this ”exercise”.
Innovations are not born in the class room workshops mentored by the consultants. This imaginary expert brings the people together and everybody has a pen and piece of paper. Fast, smooth and well educated consultant tries to facilitate, ”Lets innovate today what our company could do better for the customers. Everybody has five minutes to write his best idea and then we vote, which is the best candidate”. Maybe this is a joke, but believe me it does not work.
It is strange what things drive innovation in the real life. Relationships develop and maturity and experience grows in speedy forms through competive sports, military or some what similar multiyear barriers bothering us. It requires a new place and position from which to observe. Value adding innovations are done by elite. With elite I mean brave people who go through different type of tought selection processes in a form or the other. These are groups of people or even nations that have been pushed sometimes by the others. In the best case this unique mentality spreads like a virus in the whole nation.
Facilitating a national mentality and large scale creativity to burst economy requires of course many things. Despite of several attemps European political decision makers seem to lack experience that we need so much right now. They do not know how to support start-ups to boost growth and innovations, because they often do not want to be exposed to potential failure. Potilicans are aftraid more than ever and attributes for the growth do not exist. Being tidy is more important than aim for a true courage.
Next year we will have our election for the new parliament in Finland. Small country in the world, but still about the same size as Israel or Singapore. Key ingredients for entrepreneurship are produced when people can cross boundaries, turn social norms upside down, agitate openly new markets and catalyze radical ideas. I wish we will have brave enough leaders selected this time to drive us on the edge of chaos to wake us up from sleepy backwaters back to a leader in the innovation work. We need politicians who are builders them self, irrigators, impatient and effective.