Mov­ing Inno­va­tion from Buzz­word to Action

Innovation has become everyone’s favorite buzzword. But it means more than inventing new products and coming up with new ideas. It has to be built into the culture of a company – and it has to go beyond ambition and become action. While future-proofing your business may be the goal, taking small steps today is how you get there.

Three big truths about innovation:

  1. Innovation doesn’t have to come from the top.

    Leadership doesn’t have to buy in for innovation to happen. Cultural change is what leads companies into the future, and it’s just as likely to come from small groups of big thinkers as it is from higher-ups with company-wide plans.

  2. Innovation dies in its own department.

    "Innovation teams" might seem like a good idea, but they tend to get relegated to the corner of the basement, churning out ideas that never come to life. Innovation shouldn't have specific teams — it should be part of the way everyone thinks.

  3. Innovation isn't the inevitable product of innovative thinking.

    Innovation without action is just dream journaling. It’s writing email drafts in MS Word. Getting to innovative output is as much about operations and culture as it is about ideas. The ideas themselves aren't worth much — execution is what counts.

“Innovation can’t just be a word – it has to be built into everything you do.”