Demystifying Innovation


Innovation is a continuous human aspiration and to reach this level of sophistication meant that it took us generations of human evolution to fight wars, diseases, ignorance, prejudice and apathy. To innovate is to hold three philosophies: self-preservation, community preservation and to be profit-driven.

Innovation towards self-preservation protects us from harm and helps us do things more conveniently while drowned in a hyper-world of intense network and communications, save time and energy, look and feel good and resolve, well, laziness and procrastination issues. But once the innovations instill confidence, we proceed to help preserve our communities and make them flourish.

Innovations towards community preservation are based on altruism: we want our families, friends and relatives and their extended tribes to thrive in harmonious social interaction and yet maintain uniquely individual characteristics. We live on the cherished idea that someone is always looking after our backs.

Innovation does that, creating ways and means to defend and ensure the community’s socio-economic survival, power, authority and influence. This calls for innovation, such as the formation of National Front, when our nation was confronted with a political crisis forty-one years ago.

As was the decision to peg the ringgit, in the face of advice to the contrary from world-acknowledged experts, when we faced the economic downturn in the late nineties.

Of course, these days innovation is associated with the profit-driven, that every new invention and brainwave leads to the creation of not just a new lifestyle but fabulous new wealth.

With huge profits also come resources to beef up community power that ensures self and community preservation, and the ability to control the destiny of the nation. You might have heard our Prime Minister espouse the idea of high income nation, wealth creation and societal changes, concepts as old as the last century but given Malaysians’ present state of mind along with income and status in the global arena, they are fresh impetus to move the nation on a more solid footing.

To fulfill this national goal, liberate your mind into accepting that big transformations are inevitable and to benefit from these programmes is get into the innovation spirit.

Refresh your attitude and thinking by accepting the positive impact of these changes. That would be the first innovative but giant step forward.

Dato Dr Kamal Jit Singh dubbed Dr Innovation by industry leaders is an ardent advocate of thinking skills and he holds a Doctorate in Strategic Management and is the founder of GIRC.

Not only was Dr Kamal the pioneering spearhead who encouraged British Telecoms to set up an Asian Research Centre in Malaysia, he also went on to be its CEO for eight years.

Dr Kamal is regularly invited to speak at international industry events and sits on numerous government and industry advisory boards and panels.

Dr Kamal is currently the chief executive officer of Unit Inovasi Khas, a special purpose vehicle within the office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, established to fast-track the development of innovation in the country.