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The Most Important Ingredient in an Innovation Strategy

The most important ingredient in an innovation strategy
Books and the internet are filled with processes, procedures, and requirements needed to implement a successful innovation strategy. Innovation is the lifeblood of any organization. It is therefore important that we have a good working innovation definition. Innovation can apply to many things. It is usually the term applied to a new product, but it can also be used to describe new processes, methods or inventions.
There are as many working definitions of “innovation” as there are supposed procedures and requirements for implementing an innovation successfully. Invention refers to new products or services that derive from an individual (or group) from scientific research. Innovation is the commercialization of the invention (or concept) where the organization employs it within their business processes.
There are many “experts” who profess that certain ingredients are necessary to successfully implementing an innovation within an organization. Regardless of the number of ingredients listed, most all agree, in one form or fashion, that the following four are essential.
• The innovation must be something NEW—most customers are at the very least intrigued by something new. Most of us all want the latest and greatest ways of doing things or products. Innovation is usually something new.
• The innovation must be economically wise—does the innovation make or save money for the organization. If it doesn’t, then it probably shouldn’t be implemented in the first place.
• The innovation should be better than the current product or service—if it isn’t better than what currently exists, what’s the point? Something new for the sake of new without being better that what is currently in place; isn’t an economical innovation. It won’t bring value to the business.
• The innovation must have a customer appeal—if there is no one that will buy the product or use the service; it will be a waste of time and resources to implement the innovation.
Businesses must add many ingredients into the innovation soup to get the innovation to the have the best possible flavor. However; one important step MUST take place before the soup can cook. Someone must turn on the stove! Someone (often the company CEO) must inspire and initiate innovations within the organization. Failure of company leadership to inspire innovation within their organization will render any other innovation ingredient useless. The following video by the “Innovation Coach” illustrates why Inspire & Initiate are his number one rule for innovation success.

http://www.youtube.com/user/InnovationCoach#p/u/1/phlkSf98hAg

As is evidenced by this video, to inspire and initiate innovation within an organization is paramount to the success of an innovation strategy for a company.

Summary:
Yes it takes many ingredients to bring innovation successfully into an organization; some of which were listed above. However, without a leader to inspire and initiate that innovation throughout the entire organizational structure, the full value of innovation will never be realized.

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