10 Thoughts On Innovation

by Kevin Ball

Posted March 27 0 min read

Not all my own, ‘though some are… 

  1. Innovation is more often the result of painstaking analysis than a flash of genius. Not so many of us are geniuses but all of us can work hard.
  2. It’s important to remember that there is opportunity for innovation everywhere - in business models, partnerships, processes, service, channels, brand, customer experience and the list goes on… 
  3. Innovating your business model or core business process is often more likely to make your business dominant in your industry than innovating your product. Amazon, anyone?
  4. Product innovation is often more expensive and less successful in the long term than some other forms of innovation, and is usually a source of only temporary advantage because others can copy it
  5. Pursuing only a single innovation type will make you less innovative as a business than a competitor who aims for more different types of innovation at the same time. That bundling of innovations is also harder to copy. 
  6. Mature organisations are no less innovative than newer ones. Microsoft could make a good case for saying that their current rate of innovation is greater than it was fifteen years ago. 
  7. Companies with high levels of employees with tenure are, on average, less innovative than those with high levels of people joining from other organisations and industries. Go figure. 
  8. Innovation is a people process, not an engineering or process management one. Innovation is a discretionary activity from an individual or group, not one which can be achieved through Taylorism.
  9. Organisations with high levels of Engagement are more innovative than others. One of the things that motivate people is the opportunity to influence positive change that is found in innovative organisations. Having to repeat failed or inadequate processes or support poor products is not a source of Engagement.

I could have written 10 more thoughts about innovation but my tenth thought is that innovation can be facilitated by a fixed boundary or timeframe. A 24 hour Hackathon or one side of A4 creates a framework that can encourage an innovation.

3 comments on “10 Thoughts On Innovation”

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