It’s Official: Ireland’s Innovative

grain of salt

Or, at least, we have “strong innovation tendencies,” according to a press release from the Irish Industrial Development Authority (IDA).The IDA and the Irish Management Institute (IMI) commissioned a report Innovation & The Irish Manager that focused on “the intra-psychic world of Irish entrepreneurs.” They used a “battery of psychological and cultural tests,” and found a clear “preference for right brained (sic) thinking in the Irish samples, compared to international norms, where available.”

I don’t know if the Irish are more innovative, or more capable of innovation, or more or less right brained or hare brained than other nationalities. I do know that innovation should be encouraged, and that anyone who gets in the way should be asked to clear a path immediately. However, the report’s assertion does back up what Michael O’Duffy and David Trevitt have been saying (here, here and here) at the Irish Computer Society’s lecture series on exploiting innovation. O’Duffy, in particular, has said the Irish are known for their creativity, but the question is: Do we do anything about it?

The problem, as I see it, is with officialdom. Politicians and civil servants may talk a good game, but innovation is disruptive, and that is not a constituency that appreciates disruption.

Criticism

Coming in at nearly 80 pages, the report is nearly impossible to read. Literally. An online version is available at http://www.dyflin.ie/imi. The first problem is that I, and many others, will not read 80 pages off a computer screen. But when you go to print the report, there are only two options: “Print current pages” and “print selected pages.” There is no “print all,” or “select all.” And guess what? You cannot click page 1, hold the shift key and click page 80. You have to click each of the 80 damn pages one by one.

So being an IT type, I am familiar with workarounds. I decided to email it to myself, hoping a single PDF would arrive, and I could print if off that way. Guess what? The email option kept hanging. I couldn’t believe it.  So I clicked each of the damn pages one by one, all 80 of them, and printed the report out. Now, guess what? It was practically illegible. The writing was tiny and smudged. And, no, it wasn’t the printer because I printed off another PDF at the same time and that was perfect. I was having a true John C. Dvorak experience.

I flicked through the report, and there certainly are points worth discussing. I will go over them in a future post.

IDA photo courtesy of KatDeiss on Flickr.com. Grain of salt courtesy of Jose Martins on Flickr.com

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