The Business of Innovation

Posted on September 24, 2020


Innovation isn't new. It's been going on for thousands of years. The only reason any of us are here today is because of innovative individuals and teams trying new things throughout history.

Contrary to popular belief, innovation doesn't necessarily mean coming up with a new product or implementing/inventing a new technology, it can be a small improvement over how something has been done previously. Perhaps many small improvements over time.

In this day and age businesses succeed or fail depending on their ability to change and improve. The businesses most likely to survive and grow are those that invest time and resources into trying new ways of doing things to give them an advantage over their competitors. Just as their competitors are doing. An innovation cold war.

You can choose as an individual or a business to adapt to solely survive or preferably adapt to thrive but by refusing to put together a strategy for adapting and innovating, you are effectively guaranteeing your demise. It is not enough to stay still and do the same thing you have always been doing and hoping everything will be ok. It wont be. Ask Blockbuster and Toys-R-Us or Hem, Haw, Sniff and Scurry. Thousands of jobs lost and lives effected because a handful of leaders did not have the right mindset or foresight to innovate or adapt. Adapt-or-die indeed. Conversely, it's those companies that manage to ride the crest of the innovation wave and successfully navigate those uncertain waters that end up years ahead of their competitors.

In the Nineteenth century Charles Darwin's research gave rise to the concept of natural selection and with a little help from Herbert Spencer the term Survival of the Fittest was born. Darwin noted that it wasn't the most intelligent species that survived, but the ones most adaptable to change. Little did Darwin know how his observations would be applicable to not only biological organisms but businesses and organisations also.

These days Innovation is big business

And those that understand it, understand that it is a process. New things must be tried, mistakes made, failures and lessons learned. But out from those experimentations, failures and learnings, success is born. You need to plant the seeds of innovation if you want to harvest the fruits of success later on.

It doesn't matter if you are an individual or a business. If you aren't trying new things and failing, you aren't growing.

This is why great companies know that they need to be constantly innovating and that needs to be part of their strategy and culture. So much so, that you will find an increasing number of companies have dedicated knowledgeable Innovation departments, teams and leaders, whose remit is to bring innovation to the business. Whether that be improving existing processes, adopting new ones or implementing emerging technologies.

These companies know the importance of innovation, its place, how it relates to business, products and customers and have a well defined innovation strategy and promote an innovative mindset. It is these companies that will innovate faster than their competitors.

Are you innovating?

-- Lee