Does innovation even matter? Well, yes. According to new research 91% of businesses rate innovation as important or critically important. In fact there are scores of books about it and plenty of consultants earning a living from it. So what exactly is it?
Innovation is not one thing; it’s a spectrum of ideas. It can impact all levels of a business, and beyond. It can take the form of a simple change to how a team works, a major IT program, or even a life-saving new medical treatment. It can be driven internally, with external partners, or in an open eco-system of collaborators. But in all forms, innovation is driven by value.
Founder of InnovationLearning.org, Dr. Darin Eich, defines innovation as “a high-impact new idea that was developed and brought to life in response to a challenge” and goes on to say “an innovation could be for a product, service, technology, communication, method, application, or new and better way of doing something.” Innovation isn’t just about ad-hoc ideas and one-off improvements.
You can foster an innovative culture in your business to encourage a continuous flow of fresh ideas. The trouble is that although almost everyone thinks innovation is desirable, very few businesses see themselves as very good at it. Innovation must be a continuous process. A single innovative product or service does not ensure long-term success. Making innovation happen can be difficult; but where it does happen, very deliberate steps were involved. A proactive innovation agenda is required to overcome inertia and bring together the capabilities required for success.
The tools and technology that can help innovation take root range from things like smart machines and analytics, through modelling and design, to social media and collaboration. Gartner analyst Matthew Cain believes the introduction of technology, if done correctly, will lead to innovation … “New technology actually accelerates the pace of even newer technology.”
Additional resources to help your business:
- Innovation defined: New, useful, real and critical to long-term success by Bill Detwiler
- What can businesses do to make innovation happen? by Toby Wolpe
About Neil Brown & Proven Innovation
Neil owns Proven Innovation, developing custom software systems, web and mobile technologies to equip organisations to do business more effectively. Neil's role includes building niche and highly customised systems where there isn't a solution available off the shelf. Proven Innovation specialises in the latest generation of web application development. To explore new technology possibilities please contact us.