Innovation Is Not About Doing New Things

Don't try to re-invent the wheel. Innovation is not about new things, it's about how we are able to create from the work already on the ground.

“Too often, we assume innovative ideas and meaningful changes require a blank slate.”

James Clear
Photo by Matt Ridley on Unsplash

When I started writing online, I was obsessed with the idea that innovation was all about doing something new. 

[if you read my older articles on innovation, you will find this thought scattered across them].

I ran for a long time with that idea.  

Writing with that concept, believing it. 

Until through much reading and studies, I stumbled on the truth. 

And what is the truth? 

There Is Nothing New

We are all building on the works of others. 

People have been laying foundations, and we have only come to contribute, and sometimes, we do a good job, our contributions become widely known, maybe even popular, it helps a lot of people, it’s adopted by many, and it helps them to become better people and change the world — hurray! 

But, it’s still not new. You did the job of discovering it.

Discovery, Creativity & Changing Lives

All man does is to discover

We don’t create anything new. 

The mighty & jaw-dropping inventions and innovations we see around us today did not fall out from the sky. 

We discovered them. 

They were there, sitting, waiting for someone adventurous enough to find them, understand them and show them to the rest of humanity. 

[This is what makes Chemistry, Physics & Biology interesting]. 

And before we even ventured, they were people in that field who already dedicated their whole lives to that work. 

You are just building on legacies

The next time you want to start an innovative journey, don’t think you are on a journey to create something new. 

Instead, let your heart be guided by the truth that you are like Christopher Columbus, who is voyaging to discover beauty that already exists — It’s your duty as an innovator to discover, understand, reveal it to us, teach us, so that we also learn what you know. 

“Old ideas are a secret weapon because they have already managed to survive in a complex world.”

James Clear

There was electricity all along even before Dinosaurs and Dragons walked the face of the earth. 

There was gravity before Elves and Orcs roamed the wastelands of middle earth [chuckles]. 

Forgive me, I love fantasy. 

But what’s my main point here? 

It’s simple. 

Approach creativity with this mindset. 

Don’t ever try to re-invent the wheel. 


How Nurses Can Approach Innovation & Creativity 

This topic is not a new one. You must have read it somewhere on a blog on the internet or somewhere else, maybe a book. I only brought it to you using my peculiar voice & my experience.  

That’s how creativity & innovation is. Sometimes we don’t see the uniqueness of a situation until we approach it from several angles. 

This is how nurses must approach creativity and innovation. 

We have been taught for too long how to approach problems using one method. So, exploring other methods is forbidden. We don’t want to venture. 

When the concept of digital health was about finding its way into the nursing ecosystem, some people fought it because they didn’t understand it [and there are still folks who are fighting it]. 

It’s normal, we fight what we don’t understand. “Soooo” natural. 

But when we approach with curiosity, that’s when creativity and innovation find solace. 

The genuine desire to know why, how, when, and what. 

The power of evidence and research. 

So, friends, this is your takeaway. You must approach creativity and innovation with a high level of curiosity — genuine curiosity.

And have this right in front of you when you go out there to create and innovate — it’s not all about something new. You are not creating stuff, you are discovering, building on the innovative labors of others. 

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

Have you read my latest article on The Metaverse And Healthcare In Africa? If you have not, kindly read it here on Care City, or if you prefer Substack’s interface, find it here on my personal newsletter on Substack. 


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