Innovation Quotes … 10 Fantastic Lessons from the World Best

Nothing works better defining great lessons than the best innovation quotes from the masters on this subject. Here you find 20 of my personal favorites. I have used them to derive ten innovation lessons to learn from.

Check out our thoughts on building innovation.

Innovation quotes.
Innovation quotes.

Our agency focuses on creativity and innovation. From time to time we’ll post interesting tidbits on creative thinking in general. Many on how to generate innovative ideas for business adaptation and change. And vision. We are always fascinated by this skill. And it is a great skill to have in our view. Does it mean you see everything? Certainly not. It does say that you have the ability to see what many cannot. And then act on these. Vision doesn’t count without action. And not without initiating innovation.

 

Consider the case of Microsoft, which failed horribly to adapt to mobile computing. In fact, when the iPhone came out, CEO Steve Ballmer dismissed it, saying, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

 

Let’s review the lessons and the quotations that they were derived from:

 

Innovation quotes … Lesson 1   Work the right problem.

 

It’s not that they can’t find the solution … they can’t find the problem.

— G K Chesterton

 

The most original discovery, the more obvious it seems afterward.

-Arthur Koestler

 

Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

— Goethe

 

A lot of what drives innovation comes from understanding the customers and their needs and problem. If this isn’t done well, or worse, correctly, then the rest doesn’t matter.

 

 

Lesson 2   Be open minded

 

The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out.

– Dee Hock

innovation slogans
Innovation slogans.

We cannot solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. 

-A. Einstein

 

The sign of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing thoughts in your mind and still be able to function.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

Being creative in your thinking is difficult at best. If you depend on your old ideas and small, incremental change only, the difficulty is drastically increased.

 

 

Lesson 3   Practice imagination

 

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions

– Albert Einstein

 

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks a real advance in science.

— Albert Einstein

 

Without the playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever yet come to birth.

 The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable

– Carl Jung

We try to challenge ourselves to be creative. Sometimes they are business-related. Other times they are not. And now we have an arsenal of things that I do on a regular basis to stretch our thinking. It’s trying to do creative thinking and practice a consistent habit. Imagination and curiosity are our most valuable assets.

 

Innovation slogans … Lesson 4   Explore and discover

 

Being right keeps us in place. Being wrong forces us to explore.

-Steven Johnson

 

Innovation occurs at the intersection of previously unconnected and unrelated planes of thought.   

– Idris Mootee

 

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what

nobody has thought

– Albert von Szent-Gyorgy

 

Without the playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever yet come to birth.

 The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.

– Carl Jung

 

A person might be able to play without being creative, but he sure can’t be creative without playing.

– Kurt Hanks and Jay Parry

 

Always look for alternatives, improvements, and non-standard ways of solving problems. Many of ideas that your team will come up with will be unfit, some of them will be excellent, and a few will be brilliant. Sometimes one brilliant idea is all it takes to make a huge business success.

 

inspirational innovation quotes
Inspirational innovation quotes.

Lesson 5   Ask good questions

 

To find the exact answer, one must first ask the exact question.

— S. Tobin Webster

 

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks a real advance in science.

– Albert Einstein

 

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.

– Anthony Jay

 

The ability to ask good questions is most often more critical than jumping to the correct solutions.

 

Lesson 6   Try wild and crazy

 

If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it. 

-A. Einstein

 

The most original discovery, the more obvious it seems afterward. 

-Arthur Koestler

 

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions

– Albert Einstein

 

In many companies, employees are so afraid of making mistakes that they don’t pursue their best ideas. They only follow the rules and keep their heads down, which drives nothing but mediocrity. Don’t let them get in this rut. Encourage wild and crazy.

 

 

Lesson 7   Don’t fear failure

 

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

— Edward de Bono

 

James Dyson, the inventor of the Dyson Vacuum cleaner, “failed” at more than 5,100 prototypes before getting it just right. In fact, nearly every breakthrough innovation in history came after countless setbacks, mistakes, and “failures.” The great innovators and achievers weren’t necessarily smarter or inherently more talented. They quietly released their fear of failure and kept trying. They didn’t let setbacks or misfires extinguish their curiosity and imagination.

 

 

Lesson 8   Do things you fear

 

The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear. 

-Vincent Van Gogh

 

Failing means increasing the rate of experimentation… and exploring. Exploring things that scare you.  Some will pay off; some will fail. The key is to get results and adapt quickly. The speed of business has increased dramatically and every minute counts. The best companies try lots of ideas and let the losers go quickly and with no remorse. Move beyond the things that scare you.

 

 

Lesson 9   Take risks

 

You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.

— Wayne Gretzky

 

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

— Edward de Bono

 

Here is a great example: a software company in Boston gives each team member two “corporate get-out-of-jail-free” cards each year. The cards allow the holder to take risks and suffer no repercussions for mistakes associated with them. At annual reviews, leaders question their team members if the cards are not used. It is an excellent way to encourage risk-taking and experimentation.  Think this company comes up with fantastic ideas? Absolutely.

 

 

Lesson 10   Test by prototyping

 

Effective prototyping may be the most valuable core competence an innovative organization can hope to have. 

-Michael Schrage

 

As you can see, some of these lessons do not take much time and money to implement. Start from small and transform your company step by step. Creating an innovative culture is a process that takes time, but as the first ideas become a reality, and the first results show up, both you and your employees will appreciate the benefits.

 

latest book

 

So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is entirely up to you.

 

It’s up to you to keep improving the growth hacking and innovation of your business. Lessons are all around you. In many situations, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.

 

All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that struggle gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.

 

When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.

 

Try. Learn. Improve. Repeat.

 

Need some help in improving the innovation process for you and your staff? Innovative ideas to help the differentiation with your toughest competitors? Or maybe ways to innovate new products and services?

         

Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options for innovation workshops to get noticeable results.

Call Mike at 607-725-8240.

 

All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that struggle gets better every day you learn and apply new innovative ideas.

 

When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.

 

Do you have a lesson about making your innovation learning better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?

 

Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics that relate to improving the performance of business. Go to Amazon to obtain a copy of his latest book, Exploring New Age Marketing. It focuses on using the best examples to teach new age marketing … lots to learn. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn

 

Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.

  

More reading on creativity and innovation from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

Learn How to Think What No One Else Thinks

Generating Ideas by Convergent Thinking

Amazon and Managing Innovation … the Jeff Bezos Vision

The Secrets to Building an Innovative Culture

 

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Innovation Quotes … 10 Fantastic Lessons from the World Best