Innovation for innovation’s sake

Not being able to innovate is like having a Formula One team that has an amazing car and amazing people but with no idea on how to suck that extra ounce on performance!

Innovation has become the new buzz word on the block, and if you are not saying it, and living and breathing it, surely you are destined for the scrap heap?

Oh come on… lets be clear that success, satisfaction and longevity can be sustained by doing a great job at what you are good at. That’s not to say don’t innovate, just don’t pretend to be innovating when in reality you are not making a real difference to you, your customer or the world!

A close colleague of mine likes to drive everything with an acronym so I thought in this instance this was very appropriate… ‘VOID’ – Veteran of Innovation Delusion!

In the continual changing world of digital this is more ripe than anywhere else right now. Technology continues to drive forwards at a pace which most are struggling to keep up with. Those leading the field with innovation are not keeping up with the technology, they are in fact always a step behind, but the real differentiator is that they are keeping ahead of the competition and are able to take new ideas to market quicker and more effectively than others.

There lies the true definition of ‘innovation‘. It’s not just about being able to demonstrate the ability to use new technology and having a team that are technically skilled, but more a combination of the following:

  1. Germinating fresh ideas and incubating these into something that solves a real problem or provides added value.
  2. Providing a solution that has not been seen before.
  3. Being the first to market.

I am often bemused by individuals who don’t want to gain support and funding for ideas that have great potential to be innovative, but instead they become ideas that then join the other 99.99% of ideas which only went some way into adding value to the paper they were written on.

Key message: let your ideas have a chance of driving innovation, but be open to be challenged, as often we think our ideas are great and will change the world, but an external perspective really helps to do a sanity check and often bring the ideas to life on real applications. Then… be quick, be clear, be unique!

I could write chapter and verse on this topic but i think you can draw out your own conclusions on this, please do share your views.