A recent post discussed a very important business thought from the book, The Game-Changer by former Procter & Gamble Chairman & CEO, A.G. Lafley and business consultant, Ram Charan. In this post, let’s look at a different but just as vital lesson.
The subtitle of their book is: How You Can Drive Revenue And Profit Growth With Innovation. Early on, the author’s make several key points that set the tone for their teaching. A major one is:
“Innovation must be the central driving force for any business that wants to grow and succeed in both the short and long terms.”
One key point is that this cannot be left only to technical experts, or to luck. They say it must “become integral to the way you run your business. That means making innovation central to the goals, strategy, structure, systems, culture, leadership, and motivating purpose and values of your business.”
In other words, it’s not a matter of some genius working alone in a laboratory but is very much a matter of “key social interactions.”
Today, let’s discuss another aspect of wisdom they shared, and that is:
“To understand innovation, you first have to see the difference between an invention and an innovation.”
They define them as such:
Invention: A new idea that is often turned into a tangible outcome, such as a product or a system.
Innovation: The conversion of a new idea into revenues and profits.
As the authors say, “An idea that looks great in the lab and fails in the market is not an innovation.”
Being able to innovate helps the business owner or salesperson to change the game which, as the authors say, is to control your destiny.
So, what about those of us who are not – by our nature – innovators? Personally, I’m neither an inventor nor a natural innovator. You might be, but what if, like me, you are not? How do we stay competitive and even ahead in the game?
I believe that we create an environment for innovation. We can do this in several ways. We can align with innovators (in my case, Kathy Zader); we can Mastermind with innovators. We can hire innovators (though, we cannot abdicate responsibility). And, we can read and study those who are innovators, find out what they do, and utilize their knowledge to provide ourselves with ideas.
We can also take confidence in knowing that innovations don’t have to be huge in nature. Sometimes, just a tweak in the right direction makes a huge difference in the “thing” itself, and how it effects the bottom line.
How about you? Are you an inventor? An innovator? Both? Neither? How have you found the best way to create innovation?
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Never really thought about it before, but I believe I just may be an innovator. YAY!
I’m thinking specifically about my Meditation Workshop. I took an invention (Jerry & Esther Hicks awesome book/CD) and by creating the workshop, turned it into revenues and profits. I AM an innovator, aren’t I? Woo HOO!!!
Wait…does it qualify if I was not the one who INVENTED the product? I sure hope so, because I kind like thinking of myself as an innovator. 🙂
Linda, you are indeed an innovator. And, no…it’s absolutely not necessary to be the inventor for you to be an innovator. 🙂
Loved the suggestion to mastermind with innovators! Even if you don’t think you are an innovator, it seems likely that the combination of minds coming together to create the power of a third mind/mastermind will increase the chances that an innovation will result. And even if it doesn’t, it’s great fun to learn and grow with others while masterminding :).
Thank you very much for sharing these very interesting aspects of wisdom on Innovation!
Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, an entrepreneur whom I greatly admire has this to say about Innovation:
Innovation, by definition involves introducing something new. It is not a simple imitation, but an addition, however slight it may be. And at its creative extreme, it could be invention. She categorizes innovation into four broad types. The first is what may be termed “incremental innovation”. This builds on an existing idea or model, product, process or service but innovates a bit on it. The effect is to lower the cost and increase the supply or availability.
The second category is “evolutionary innovation”. Here the innovator builds on what is known, and creates significant new value. It is evolutionary since it is the next step to the incremental. The innovation driver here is market leadership.
The third is what she terms “breakthrough innovation”. This involves the creation of a radically new product, service, process or business model. Breakthrough is about new technology and novel products that are derived from experimental innovation.
The last and the most challenging category is “experimental innovation”, which in reality is close to, or identical to, invention. The driver here is the next practice.
The entire article can be viewed here:
And when you say this about Innovation:
“In other words, it’s not a matter of some genius working alone in a laboratory but is very much a matter of “key social interactions.”
This reminds me of Mr. Subroto Bagchi’s- yet another High Performance Entrepreneur – succinct definition of Innovation:
‘Innovation is not a child of instruction, but it is a child of emotion’.
Thanks and regards,
Laura, what a great thought. Thank you!
Geetha, thank you much for sharing with us!
Very nice Article sir. Today, Innovation is using when your brand already taken strong brand equity, established image and then coming with various “Innovative” campaign. Innovation will helps out to drive your brands/services, boost up your sales figure, and off course break the clutter in market.
Innovation & Invention both are catchy words where brand & product entered into market, quickly consumers will attract to look its at once.
Especially, we are looking daily various “Invention” in Technology Segment. Market is also fragmented in Innovation & Invention.
“Difficult to Invent new thing, Difficult to Execute Innovation”. Innovation require execute strong strategic plan otherwise fail to catch consumers. Whereas Invention require find / evolve new thing which gives positive result otherwise fail your invention.
A person doesn’t even need a CV. All they have to do is PRODUCE something based on their IMAGINATION which displays their CREATIVITY. And if it’s useful then people will pay good money for it. 🙂