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How can you be innovative?

innovation-insight.jpgYou become innovative by identifying obvious and not-so-obvious trends that will impact your business or organization — and then undertake change and actions to deal with those trends.

Earlier this summer, I taped a podast for Applix; they’re a business intelligence company, that was bought up by Cognos, which was then bought up by IBM for $5 billion just over a week ago.

The podcast focuses on my ideas of the need for corporate agility in the high velocity economy. I cover a lot of ground here in terms of concepts of innovation. In particular, I stress that I think a lot of organizations that I deal with aren’t really thinking about “what comes next?” – which means they are missing the very essence of how to start thinking about innovation:”

I think we’re still very short-term minded out there. I think a lot of organizations are just going from quarter to quarter.

What should forward oriented organizations be thinking about? Several things:

How quickly is our marketplace changing? How quickly are our products changing? What do we need to do from a cultural perspective and an organizational perspective, to be able to deal with a world in which our product life cycles are collapsing? A lot of organizations who don’t appreciate the new forms of competition that can walk into their marketplaces’ business models continue to evolve.

How do they do that? By making innovation core to their “soul.”

The word ‘innovation’ has to be a part of the responsibility of everybody in the organization and that’s what I find goes wrong in a lot of companies. I think what has happened is people have made innovation out to be one of these special things that it’s the people in the back room who design new products – that that’s innovation. To me, innovation is so much more than that.

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