How do I innovate with God?

business innovation kingdom business work May 07, 2024

I had just finished a project for Cisco Systems on how to capture innovation in a part of their business. I thought it was done and dusted but the night after the project ended I had a dream. I could see (in my dream) all the tools we had used to set up a systematic approach to innovation... but they were slightly tweaked. Now they were asking a different question: "Was the innovation inspired?" Did it have the “ah ha” fingerprints of the Divine? Was it beyond logic and reasoning? Did the innovation have the X factor?


I woke, grabbed pen and paper, and sketched out “The Inspired Innovation Playbook”. Then I went on vacation to Italy for a couple of weeks and pondered more what I had seen in the dream.


I visited Cisco when I returned and said, “I had a dream...” and they graciously agreed to re-do the project, this time looking for the inspired among the ordinary.


Just today I read an Al Jazeera article about a man who is now a friend. I met him in 2017 when he went through our Repurposing Business training. I discovered Brandt and his brother had a company making nutraceuticals. As we discussed inspired innovation I told him, “God is not done inventing; he has plenty of products on his mind that we have not seen on earth yet. Ask God for a new product.”  Brandt Coetzee did just this and, inquiring of God and collaborating with God, developed a coffee substitute that is caffeine-free and a super-food. The Al Jazeera news article states:


The crowd is waiting to sell mesquite seedpods to Brandt Coetzee, a burly 57-year-old Afrikaaner who invented Manna Brew, a caffeine-free coffee substitute made from the roasted beans. The self-styled “superfood espresso”, which tastes earthy and slightly sweet, not only offers health benefits, but it also contributes to the eradication of an alien tree species that’s infesting the arid Northern Cape. And it provides an annual cash injection to about 700 people – in a town where only 36 percent of adults have formal employment. Perhaps most importantly, collecting the seeds before they are allowed to germinate saves billions of litres of groundwater every year.


When God gives you an inspired innovation it not only delivers multifaceted benefits but often transforms liabilities into assets. Inspired Innovations can include divine exchanges: beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning, and good news from bad news. For many like the people in Calvinia of the Northern Cape in South Africa “good news” is “you have a job” and “here’s a product that really meets a genuine need.”


PS: You might want to read this case study for yourself. It leaves out the essentials of the innovation process but does a good job of highlighting the benefits.


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