Someone once told me this: “Innovation is like an apparition of the Virgin Mary: one person saw her, but everyone talks about it.” Although funny, the quote aptly captures an attitude towards innovation that exists in many companies today. Innovation – and the skills that enable it – are sometimes considered as mystical gifts, preserved for the chosen few. In other cases, innovation is feared, because it involves unregulated processes, risk taking and investments with unpredictable outcomes.
Innovation. The word is tossed around carelessly, and is repeatedly illustrated with the same few business cases. Some of the usual suspects include autonomous transport (Google, Tesla), wearable tech (Apple) and of course … the sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb).
Innovation is a business discipline
A lot of business leaders know they want innovation, yet they struggle to define what it actually means to them. Simply put, innovation is about making changes that add business value, in terms of either revenue growth or increased operational efficiency. This value can be created in four ways:
- introducing new products;
- optimizing operational processes;
Read the full blog about Avoid Innovation Paralysis – Why all Companies Can and Must Embrace Change at Innovation Management.