Options to improve are not limited to technology. For domestic flights, options for tickets used to be limited to first class and coach. Today, there are many options which (depending on the airline) may include choice of first class, main cabin, basic economy, size of seats, and whether the fares are refundable or not.
Many hotels now offer several different rates for the same room based on whether a person wants to be able to cancel two days in advance, four days in advance, or is willing to pay in advance with no cancellation.
Financial wizards create new investment vehicles (like new kinds of options, derivatives, exchange traded funds, and the infamous mortgage backed securities) all the time.
All these arrangements created value (i.e. more options and revenue streams for airlines and hotels or more capital options for companies) and all were made out of thin air. People just made them up. No capital was expended. No skunkworks were needed. No payroll paid for an army of engineers.
We can create new options for how we arrange work, how we sell to customers, options we give to customers, and even options we give to employees. The limit is our own creativity.
So why don’t people exploit their own creativity more? Here’s a few reasons to consider:
People don’t give themselves enough time. They stay way too busy when they know any fool can be busy.
People don’t give themselves enough credit. They think they are not the creative type.
People don’t give themselves enough outside influence. They stay stuck in their own bubbles.
People don’t give themselves enough permission. They think about their roles in limiting ways.
While we (rightly) focus on technology improvements for innovation, don’t forget that there is a ton of potential for innovations that are simply new arrangements that can come out of someone’s imagination. And the origin of that thinking can be you—if you let it.