Innovation comes in many shapes and sizes, from product to process, and while the pursuit of innovation is noble and good, becoming truly innovative is exceptionally hard - in fact statistically, most attempts at innovation fail. That’s because ideas are easy to have, but take work to implement and often depend on a little bit of luck and fortunate timing to make them into relevant and profitable products.
It is critical to understand the difference between innovation and invention. Creativity and big ideas are important but successful innovators can put those ideas into practice. They have the ability to commercialize and monetize a new concept or a creative solution to an old problem. In addition, they can consistently deliver on the “promise of innovation” with new products and services that keep the revenue line growing, attract new customers and inspire existing customers to come back for more.
At its core, innovation is not a process issue or technical puzzle but rather a people and culture challenge. Successful teams recognize the obstacles to innovation, are equipped with tactics to overcome those obstacles and have the skills to take an agile approach to idea selection, product planning and execution. Without the ability to execute, and a culture that embraces risk and failure, innovation is nothing more than a daydream.
At MIDIOR, when we are asked to help clients improve their innovation track record, we often start by referencing a quote from Thomas Edison who once said that “Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like hard work.” MIDIOR can help you incorporate innovation into your culture, expand your innovation pipeline, build innovation teams and improve on your innovation track record.