innovation photo

Innovation is...

  1. Business – Creation and exchange of real value. Meaningful work. Work to enable and enrich whole lives. Grassroots agility. Authenticity. Alignment with values.
  2. Design – Imagination. Curiosity. Understanding. Elucidation.
    Creation. Using design thinking as a critical and rigorous business problem-solving tool. Create possibilities.
  3. Reality – Embracing and leveraging real-world constraints.
    Usable and appropriate business outcomes. Dream, then make very real!
  4. Community – Making a difference. The spirit of abundance.
    Sharing and giving as a fundamentally rich, rewarding and creative experience.
  5. Collaboration – Connection with others. Wide-ranging dialogue and story-telling. Partnering on diverse, worthwhile and fun projects. Togetherness.
  6. Truth – Working and living truthfully to who you are. Bringing your whole self to your work. Talking your talk and walking your walk.
  7. People – Respect, openness and kindness. Engage with others’ passions and dreams. Enable others. Positive, empowering, respectful outcomes.

Innovation is also...

  1. Inefficient. Thinking, mulling over, what-ifs, why-nots … These all take time. Good ideas cannot be hurried. You just do it.
  2. Non-conformist. If you can imagine your competitors doing it, or the board approving it without any debate, it is probably NOT innovation. Managed chaos. To be innovative requires the permission to be. Chaos means loads of things happening, intersecting, cross pollinating, morphing … Innovation is not a linear process.
  3. Unpredictable and not obvious. Until you get to the WOW! or DING! moment. Then it becomes “So simple, I should’ve thought of it!” Integrated. Innovation cannot be compartmentalised, it is not just an “engineering” or “marketing” thing. For it to work, innovation is an attitude that must be taken up across all disciplines, departments, and job functions. Abrupt change. Innovation = big leaps forward. We are NOT talking safe, plodding incremental improvement, or gradual change, or least of all a colour change.
  4. Led by producers. Prosumers and businesses drive innovation, not consumers. In other words, consumer surveys, buying trends and other such analysis are pointless.
  5. Not clock building. It is not improving an existing clock, but asking “What is time anyway?”
  6. About giving up centralised control. Throw out the bureaucratic rule book. Stop building empires and power bases. Stop controlling. Instead, build an environment in which individuals are encouraged to think, play and be. A celebration of diversity and self. It can only come from genuine respect, tolerance, and acceptance of all individuals in a business. Innovation links the fundamental creative spirit in each and every one of us to the work we do.