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Innovation is one of the causal factors of fundamental changes in the livelihood of people in the society. Innovation is a concept that can be applied in different disciplines that govern the nature of life that people live. For instance, innovation has been applied in the development of governance models like the American democratic governance model. This model has played a major role in determining the outlook of different administrations across the world in developing governance. This innovation has influenced the development of freedom among many societies by eliminating some traditional models of governance that hindered the same. It is also apparent that innovation is the main cause of economic growth among people and nations in the world. For instance, the development of innovative business ideas results in the creation of employment, and this subsequently leads to an increase in national GDP. Growth in technology is perhaps the most important field that innovation has played a major role. Innovative technology has changed lives for people across the world. For instance, technology has facilitated the efficient production of commodities that enhance the quality of life for people. Technology has also facilitated faster communication avenues for people. Society needs to embrace innovation as a tool for influencing positive social, economic, and political changes. This paper looks at innovation at the micro-level, meso-level, and macro-level.
The evolution of human societies and the role of innovation
Innovation is one of the factors whose interplay with economic, social, and political elements enable some societies to dominate others. Jared Diamond talks of proximate and ultimate causes to describe different factors that are associated with the development of human history. Diamond addresses proximate causes as the immediate causes that influenced the historical outcomes of the society (Haberman 2014). In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, the proximal cause of the attainment of historical success was their possession of better fighting weapons and steel. Ultimate causes, on the other hand, are the factors that influence the existence of proximal causes. In Diamond’s book, the ultimate factor was the geographical location of the Europeans. The location facilitated their innovation to develop guns and to process steel into tools that facilitated agricultural production. Diamond believes that the Europeans came to dominate other societies because of the aforementioned proximal and ultimate causes (Jared 2010).
The role of innovation in the development of military, economic, and cultural superiority was the facilitation of better weapons, reliable economic activities, and the acquisition of better knowledge to defeat other societies (Smith 2015). Diamond’s conclusion is valid because the innovative power of a society is shaped by the environmental challenges and opportunities available. Technology is another proximal cause that gave the Europeans an edge over the Indians, and it was a factor of the geographical conditions facilitating adequate resources for agriculture. The ultimate causes facilitate the existence of proximal causes that shape history for societies. This means that the ultimate causes of change in a society determine the nature of proximal causes of the change. For instance, with the availability of fertile agricultural land and steel, the Europeans could become innovative and develop farm tools to enhance their ability to produce food in surplus. The availability of a constant supply of food would increase population; thus, a stronger army, which would also use steel to create potent weapons like guns (Jared 2010).
Innovation and regional development
The interplay between innovation and entrepreneurial skills results in the development of economic superiority among nations. History has revealed that nations that have innovative citizens that are aggressive in entrepreneurial ventures are more economically liberated than those that have innovative societies without entrepreneurial aggression. For instance, Singapore is one of the nations that has demonstrated the presence of highly innovative citizens and administrations following the national developments that it has witnessed over the past several decades. It is, however, apparent that despite the high levels of innovation that the nation has portrayed, it is not as entrepreneurial as other regions like Hong Kong. Lee Kuan Yew’s sentiment that Singapore is not as entrepreneurial as Hong Kong meant that Singapore does not have a high level of diversity in entrepreneurial activities as seen in Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong are highly innovative in the business field, but Singapore is inclined toward a discrete number of productive industries. The UAE and Singapore have many similarities and differences. The two regions have been actively engaged in the reclamation of land that was initially covered by water.
The UAE and Singapore have used innovative ideas to expand their land to facilitate settlements, but the UAE has seen more innovative ideas in the construction industry. The entrepreneurial character of the two regions is also different, with the Singapore portraying a more aggressive character in this front. This is evidenced by the current GDP of the UAE, which stands at $402 billion, compared to $298 billion for Singapore. The GDP growth rate of the UAE is at 5.20%, whereas Singapore has a growth rate of 3.85% (United Arab Emirates vs Singapore 2015). This does not mean that the UAE is doing better than Singapore economically because the GDP per capita growth in Singapore is twice that of the UAE. Singapore also has a lower unemployment rate than the UAE, which indicates that the nation has a higher entrepreneurial rate than the UAE. The UAE may also be compared with Japan based on innovation in the construction industry.
The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) must continue enhancing the quality of transportation services in the UAE; hence, it needs to solve the existing issues and future issues before they occur. The organization needs to enhance its technological capabilities through benchmarking and outsourcing. Benchmarking entails visiting other road and transport organizations in developed nations to learn about the most modern ways of solving transportation issues. Outsourcing labor from countries with comprehensive road transport systems like China should be applied to give the employees a different perspective of tackling challenges. The organization can also enhance the innovative quality of its human assets by contracting experts from different parts of the world to provide training and development programs on innovation. The organization also needs to assume the concept of rapid iteration, whereby it will always try to make an idea work before moving to the next one. Building on existing ideas to make them better can result in innovative developments of the organization. The management function of the company should also start creating a sense of urgency in all projects to provoke the employees to enhance their innovation power (Nineteen ways to boost innovation in your company 2015). These recommendations should be implemented by the human resource management and the leadership function of the organization. The human resource manager of the company should be actively engaged in the development of training and development programs for the employees. The leader of the organization should look at developing an organizational culture that fosters innovation (Smith 2015). The company should develop a quarterly evaluation for short-term goals, whereby the management will compel the employees to complete the tasks within three months.
Individual-level innovation strategies
Universities can effectively enhance the innovative traits of individuals through the manipulation of the lens through which the individuals view the modern world. It is apparent that universities across the world have been struggling to nurture a diverse population of students, and the most likely outcome is the provision of general education by the universities. Enhancing motivation requires the universities to increase their motivation to become problem solvers rather than mere survivors in the society. By changing student’s outlook on the world, it is possible to lure them into undertaking the implementation of their innovative ideas to solve some of the global problems. Enhancing innovation for students is as simple as provoking the students to have the courage to change the world. Empowering the students is a factor that has been missing in many educational institutions; thus, it has been difficult for universities to make any great impact on the innovation traits of students (Innovative teaching enhances learning 2013). I believe that before joining the graduate school, I was moderately innovative because I had developed solutions for basic problems at home. I expect to be highly innovative after my graduation, and I aspire to be a part of the innovative problem-solvers after employment. Measuring the innovative quality of an individual should be based on the merit of his or her ability to repeatedly meet goals that exceed the capabilities of the available resources (Almquist, Leiman, Rigby & Roth 2013). To make me even more innovative over the next several years, I need more exposure to the modern world. Understanding the current challenges facing the global society will provoke my mind to develop ideas that can potentially solve the challenges. I also need to be conversant with the newest technology to develop new perspectives on solutions for different problems using technology. This should be actualized by the end of the graduate program.
Change in society is influenced by the development of new ideas to tackle different challenges that people face daily. Innovation is one of the determining elements of competitiveness in the society, and it has enabled some communities to dominate others in different aspects of life. From a macro-level of entrepreneurship, the incorporation of innovation enhances the economic power of a nation. The development of different innovative ideas for economic liberation enhances the quality of life for the people. Innovation is also a requirement for success at a meso-level, which entails the development of viable ideas to tackle organizational challenges. Innovation at the individual level can be attained through nurturing people, but the trait requires the involved individuals to be highly motivated and empowered. Innovation shapes the history of a society by introducing fundamental changes in their economic, social, and political fronts.
List of References
Almquist, E, Leiman, M, Rigby, D & Roth, A 2013, Taking the measure of your innovation performance, Web.
Haberman, M 2014, Why it is important to understand proximate versus ultimate causes in HR, Web.
Innovative teaching enhances learning 2013, Web.
Jared, D 2010, Guns, Germs and Steel, W.W. Norton, New York.
Smith, D 2015, Exploring Innovation, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York.
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United Arab Emirates vs Singapore 2015, Web.