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.

There’s no one problem that stands in the way of innovation. And there’s no one solution to making it happen. But there are lots of ways to start.

Innovation is hard. It’s stressful. And, fundamentally, it starts at the human level. So when we set out to understand the gap between ambition and output, we started by talking to humans and asking them a simple question:

What's Stopping You?

Three big truths about innovation:

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

    Leadership buy-in is not a prerequisite for innovation. The cultural change that leads companies into the future comes from small cadres of big thinkers who make the value of change tangible as often as it does from higher-ups with company-wide plans.

  2. Innovation dies in its own department.

    "Innovation teams" somehow always end up relegated to a 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 people.

    Innovation without action is just dream journaling. It’s writing email drafts in MS Word. Because having an idea is useless without the resources and passion to make it real. Which is why innovative people so often lack innovative output.

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