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What is Innovation?

The word “innovation” is thrown around these days, with little appreciation for what it really is. What does it mean to you? Here’s a picture to get the conversation started:

Innovation is where passion, competency and customer needs connect.

Innovation is where passion, competency and customer needs connect.

Innovation is turning an idea into a solution that adds value from a customer’s perspective

What mistake do companies often make when they talk about it? They talk about it being a company value without actually putting the required level of support behind it to make it happen. Coming up with ideas is relatively easy, fast and cheap, but then those ideas need to be executed. This is where companies often fail, by not providing the required level of time and budget to take a rough idea, refine it, experiment on it and finally turn it into a real solution.

Additionally, companies usually think of it just from an internal viewpoint, such as whether they think the offering is being improved when it is updated. In reality, if the customer doesn’t perceive the changes as having value, then they won’t be compelled to purchase it. So it is all about the customer’s perceived value.

What simple thing can a company do to change their perspective about it?  Flip it on its head, and look at every new thing you are trying for various customers’ perspectives. Here’s how google defines innovation:

innovation: a new method, idea, product, etc."

innovation: a new method, idea, product, etc."

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