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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Innovation Distinguishes Between a Leader and a Follower

According to Wikipedia, “Innovation is the development of new values through solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulate needs, or old customer and market needs in value adding new ways.”

Innovation is Not Invention: invention is the creation of an idea or method, while innovation is the use of a better, thus novel idea or method.

Innovation is Not Improvement: improvement is doing something better, while innovation is about doing something different.
In their new book Innovation as Usual: How to Help Your People Bring Great Ideas to Life, Paddy Miller and Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg suggest that, to have people innovative every day, innovation must be part of the organization’s culture with people engaged in key innovation behaviors as part of their daily work.

Give Direction when inspiring employees. “Novice innovation leaders will call for ideas and then hope for the best, praying that whatever comes crawling out of their company’s collective subconciousness will not be too awful to implement,” the authors write. page 44

Eureka moments are overrated. “Innovators must assume that their plans are partly right and partly wrong,” the authors write. “And then work hard at figuring out which part of the plan is wrong.” page 82

If you have a promising idea, cultivate it with political maneuvering and loop in a trustworthy higher-up. “Advice is most valuable in the beginning,” the authors write, “and the sponsor will likely get more involved is she feels she is part of shaping the idea.” page 141

Inspiring good ideas needn’t be so lofty an endeavor. “In a company we worked for, the managers [just] wanted to strengthen the collegial spirit in the office,” the authors write. “Having a sense of purpose doesn’t have to be about saving the world.” page 159

Here are some quotes about innovation from other sources:

If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. -Albert Einstein

One of the challenges of innovation is figuring out how to wipe your mind clean about what you should be doing at any given moment, and not having a religious attachment to what's gotten you there thus far. -Andrew Mason

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. -Steve Jobs

Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth. -Peter Drucker

Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. -William Pollard

I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out. -Jeff Bezos

Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation. - Milan Kundera

If you’d like to buy a copy of "Innovation as Usual",

Source: Innovation as Usual (Harvard Business Review Press) Paddy Miller and Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg, Bloomberg Businessweek 3/18/13

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