It’s about the journey, not the destination

Monday, December 21, 2009
The Paradox of Innovation from 30,000 Feet

It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination

by Robert F. Brands

Innovation from 30,000 feet

In the C-suites of corporate America, innovation has become a mandate. Executives – from CEOs to marketing officers – believe that to innovate is to embrace the Holy Grail of 21st Century business.

But is innovation alone the answer? Is the end – innovation – capable of surviving solely as a mandate?

Or is innovation a process, journey that seeks a destination refined and polished along the way? “Total Innovation” is a sojourn that mandates a total approach philosophy.

However, to create the Culture, foster Ideation and sustain a focus on thoughtful New Product Development, innovation requires a complex combination of and continued adherence to imperatives that must be introduced, embraced and nurtured. Innovation imperatives must start at the top, the CEO. They must be written into the Mission Statements; “Innovation” must have the backing in the strategic plan.

To thrive, Innovation must have the support of long-term growth objectives and capital support. Beyond support, Innovation must gain Inspiration from leadership, who will create and foster a Culture of innovation and motivate the organization. Leadership must acknowledge the role of Risk, and understand the possibility and benefits of failure.

For without such inspiration and continued communication, Innovation will not survive. It will become little more than a once-promising concept left to wither on the vine of fanciful corporate initiatives that never quite took root.

Therein lies the paradox of innovation. Companies cannot succeed without innovation. Yet few executives understand how to introduce, nurture, or capitalize on the promise of innovation within the organization………………..

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