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Innovation - the new economy?

13 June 2017 By Will Brodie

Image credit: The Gates Notes
Image credit: The Gates Notes

Pundits don’t agree what innovation is – check out these 15 different definitions – but they agree it is essential for any modern organisation.

In an unpredictable, ever more disrupted world, even large enterprises need to embrace the cutting edge. And fostering innovation is a matter of mindset and culture.

But don’t take our word for it. Hear it from the experts.

“At one time, strategy was king. Forecasting, planning, and placing smart bets created the power sources within organisations.

“The future of a business (or a career) followed an established framework. If leaders managed well, success would follow.

“Today, complexity and uncertainty are palpable… in these uncertain times, innovation is the buzzword du jour (again) and remains critical to an organisation’s top and bottom line. - David Magellan Horth

“Innovation in the next economy is about much more than inventing. It’s about figuring out how and where you can add unique value. It’s about how fast you can unlearn, relearn and master new skills. It’s about how you engage others at a deeper, more humanistic and passionate level.” – Robert B Tucker

“When leaders succeed in utilising the creativity of employees or customers, they will generate a double harvest. They will receive a continuous flow of new ideas, but also a deep commitment of their community.

“When people submit ideas they are voluntarily offering their creativity to the organisation. The more we recognise and reward these creative gifts, the more enthusiastic people will become to keep on giving.” - Jeff Gaspersz

“An effective leader recognises the importance of embracing differences in people and knows how to connect the dots amongst those differences to get the best outcomes from the team. This is what cultivates a workplace environment of continuous improvements, innovation and initiative.” – Glen Llopis

“Innovation is not driven by a single great idea or the result of magical serendipity; innovation is a process of disciplined exploration and experimentation.” – Lisa Kay Solomon

“Since new ideas seem to spur more new ideas, networks generate a cycle of innovation. Furthermore, effective networks allow people with different kinds of knowledge and ways of tackling problems to cross-fertilize ideas.

Every leader must ask themselves the following three questions:  1) What must I keep doing? 2) What must I stop doing?, and 3) What must I start doing?”  – McKinsey and Co

“This may sound simple, but embracing a discovery mindset is almost antithetical to how we’ve been taught and trained. Nearly all our formal education focuses on performance rewarding “right” answers and defendable arguments. Our organisations tend to promote individuals who ace their performance reviews, rewarding execution and risk management over divergent thinking and questioning.

“And yet, the success that comes with executing what we know and what we’ve historically done is exactly what prevents us from seeing what’s next.” – Lisa Kay Solomon

“Great innovators tend to be great collaborators.

“If you are working for your own glorification, it’s hard to seek out hard problems, to accept inevitable failures, to be flexible and to give credit to others, because all of those things undermine your ego.

“Successful innovators, on the other hand, are motivated by the problems themselves and that makes all the difference.” – Greg Satell