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Humanovate: What does this new term mean?

If you follow startup culture, are listening to innovation podcasts, or talking to entrepreneurial types who are in the know, then you’ve probably heard of a new term – ‘humanovate’ or ‘humannovate’. 

If you search this term in Google you’re unlikely to find many results, as at the moment the term is one of the best kept secrets among successful founders and leaders. The term is becoming increasingly popular as entrepreneurs and business owners adjust their innovation style to reflect more humanistic values.

In this article, we’re looking at what humanovation is and how we can all be better humanovators in order to grow businesses and achieve success.

What does the term humanovate mean?

To humanovate means to ensure that every innovation has humans at the focus. This means that the goal of innovation is to better the life of every human on the planet.

As the founders of a podcast by the same name – “humanovation” – note:

“There’s too much talk about innovation and not enough about humanovation…innovation only happens when we humanovate and introduce the concept of why having a “to be” list before a “to do” list is crucial”.

This idea of  existing in a state of ‘being’ and recognizing other human’s need to be is key to humanovation. It is the idea that in order to do good innovative work, we must understand how it impacts the other humans that we share the planet with. We must ‘be’ before we ‘do’.

The idea is that there is no point in us all individually ploughing through our to do lists – making money, feeling successful, achieving our goals – if those goals are negatively impacting human beings.

To humanovate means to translate ourselves from ‘human doings’ to ‘human beings’ and to work on projects that bring about good into the world for humankind. Instead of using what we do as a measure of success, humanovation focuses on how we behave in the world, and what the impact and legacy of that work is.

Humanovation seeks to use human measures of success as well as financial and goal driven ones. It puts humans at the heart of innovation, and seeks to show more care when innovating.

How can we be better Humanovators?

If you’re anything like us, you’re probably already sold on the idea of humanovation. But how do we translate that into real life? 

Well, Mark LeBusque, the author of  Being Human, offers up some solutions on how we can couple ideas around innovation and human development and use our skills to work on innovations that are good for humanity as a whole.

Mark notes that “we are human beings who have become human doings and need to rebalance this”.

His solutions are vast and deep, however on the surface level they are also very simple. Mark notes some key areas that can help us become better humanavators:

  • Thankfulness: being aware of human effort and giving thanks where thanks is due. Innovating in a way that isn’t brutish and ignorant is important. We must have consideration and gratitude towards others if we are to grow and create great things.
  • Helpfulness: Mark suggests that we shift our world view from one that is based on competitiveness and dominance to one that is focused on helping people. That way, your competitors become shared visionaries, and you’re able to forge connections and innovate in a way that truly helps people.
  • Care: whenever we have the opportunity to care for others we should. Whether that is in the products we create or the way we interact with our team, care is central to understanding the human condition and being compassionate towards others. We should not innovate in ways that betray this need to care.
  • Fun: Can your work be more fun? Humanovation focuses on how you feel when you’re innovating just as much as how other people feel when they receive your product or service. Having fun and working in a flow state is key to humanovation.

Is Humanovation Right For Your Business?

Without a shadow of a doubt, yes! Humannovation is for every business, and it is the shift in consciousness towards human-focused innovation which we all need now more than ever.

We loved the recent interview from InformaConnect with Christina Gerakiteys on humannovation and the realities of Humannovation. As a final thought, we would like to leave you with these wise words on humannovation:

“Let the process be fun. Our creativity is sparked by endorphins that make us feel good. Laugh and love. Treat your people with respect, compassion and kindness. We all want to belong. Hummannovate. Make every innovation about bettering the life of every human on this planet”.

Questions about Humanovation, let’s talk.

Did this article interest you? At ENO8 we’re passionate about innovation (and humanovation!) and if you’re of a similar mindset we love building our network. Get in touch to discuss your business ideas and join our network.


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Jeff Francis

Jeff Francis is a veteran entrepreneur and founder of Dallas-based digital product studio ENO8. Jeff founded ENO8 to empower companies of all sizes to design, develop and deliver innovative, impactful digital products. With more than 18 years working with early-stage startups, Jeff has a passion for creating and growing new businesses from the ground up, and has honed a unique ability to assist companies with aligning their technology product initiatives with real business outcomes.

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