What do you think: are innovators born or made? Surely, those who spawn ideas that change the world are special – different than the rest of us. Take one look at an Einstein, a Steve Jobs or a Da Vinci, and it seems that they were bequeathed with something unique. But that is not the way of building innovation.
But are we looking in the right direction? I believe the biggest secret of innovation is that anyone can do it. The reason is simple: It’s just not that hard. Look up the word “innovate” in any dictionary and see what it actually means, instead of what you think it means. You’ll find something like this:
To innovate is to introduce something new.
That’s it. It doesn’t say you need to be a creative genius or a workaholic. It’s just three little words: introduce something new.
The keyword in the definition is “new.” The common trap about newness is the assumption that new means something the universe has never seen before. This turns out to be a very bad assumption.
Here’s why I conclude this: name any great innovator, and I guarantee they borrowed and reused ideas from the past to make whatever it is they are famous for.
Innovation principles and process
Companies often ask themselves why their innovation principles seem to produce so few truly game-changing ideas. Why are they mostly getting only lukewarm suggestions for incremental improvements rather than radical new concepts for revolutionizing their industries? How can an organization get dramatically better at generating big, breakthrough ideas?
What are missing in most companies are innovation principles that translate ideas into winning ideas.
Does your company do crowdsourcing in any form? Have you done any recent reading or research on crowdsourcing design? We follow this topic quite closely and have written several blogs on the topic and the businesses that employ it.
Crowdsourcing design is not just for new entrants challenging established players; the latter can also leverage crowdsourcing to their advantage, enabling users to design new products and test the demand at the same time.
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