There is no doubt that Innovation today is probably the most mis-used and may be abused world in the business world. We all want to be innovative, but we have no common definition of Innovation, so when we explain our innovation, the first thing that we need to do is explain what do I mean by innovation. Jim Stikeleather in his MIX blog Six Fundamental Truth about Innovation talks about his observations or the truths that he discovered while judging is Innovation Challenge. I must say his inferences are priceless.
I loved what he said about measures: When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure – How true. We see a lot of entrepreneurs trying to be a part of the lists of coolest / hottest companies, we see people working towards getting certifications like ISO and other quality standards – all of which become a goal rather than a means to a goal.
In general he says and I add:
- Innovation is concrete and not fuzzy
- It involves risk – Most organizations have developed their DNA to avoid risk and now when they have to do something against the DNA, it is a challenge
- Innovation is a team effort – despite examples always coming from individuals
- Innovation is hard to measure and it may be a challenge to live with it given that everything should be measurable in a predictable organization
- Innovation is not incremental – Now this actually depends on how you define it and what the organization needs at that point in time and stage of business
- Innovation is open – Ideally yes.