Richard DeVaul Delineates Innovation

For the last ten years, the word “innovation” has been overused and generalized to solve all problems, particularly to imply a solution for business problems. However, Richard DeVaul wants innovation demystified through increasing people’s understanding of what it entails through leadership and culture.

Understanding innovation means using it as an instrument of generating value for a business and society. As an M.S. and Ph.D. graduate from MIT Media Lab, DeVaul is best suited to lead this change, backed by his double decade-long experience of being an innovative professional.

First, Richard DeVaul redefines innovation. He notes that many CEOs and other business leaders understand innovation as creation. However, DeVaul believes that it is about destruction, changing the standard order of processes. He gives an example of Kodak that first introduced digital cameras in 1975 but ran bankrupt in 2012 for failing to be innovative in the same technology the company introduced. When disruptive innovation occurs, DeVaul opines that a business can drive the innovation, react to it, or remain overwhelmed.

Richard DeVaul also asserts the need for restructuring business structures to back innovations. This restructuring is called incrementalism, and it mainly occurs in stable businesses where constant improvements help avoid the immediate need for disruptive innovation. Besides, businesses innovate either offensively or defensively, depending on the speculative sense of innovation. Lastly, DeVaul asserts that innovation strategies can either be considered or directionless. Considered innovation is strictly based on a strategy. See this article for additional information.

Richard DeVaul gained an M.S. and Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After earning his degrees, he worked as a Rapid Evaluation Team Lead at Google for five years until October 2018. During this period, he served as a hands-on engineer, where the company created several billion dollars. DeVaul receives credit for remarkable communication skills, with a strong background in maths and applied physics. He also has several issued patents and peer-reviewed publications.


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