One of the accusations which is frequently levied against innovation culture is that it is too free-form and thus can lead an organisation towards chaos and falling sales. In fact, nothing can be further from the truth. True innovation takes place within a framework which has defined vision and values, a clear strategy and which understands the level of acceptable risk.
Where innovation differs from the more traditional R&D methodology is firstly that it encompasses the entire organisation and secondly that it seeks to create genuine solutions. Rosemary Ryan in The Entrepreneur highlighted this approach in June when she talked about quest-led innovation. As an example, she cited Nike and the way in which it doesn’t just look to build better sport shoes but instead looks at how it can inspire more people to be better athletes. It then focuses on innovating with that purpose front and centre.
„Nike doesn’t just look to build better sport shoes but instead looks at how it can inspire more people to be better athletes.“
Those seeking to become Next Generation Organisations, to embrace and embed innovation within their culture not only have to be adaptable, they also have to look to gain real insight into their customer needs and to collaborate to create real solutions. In other words, innovative organisations move from designing products and then persuading people that they need those products, to finding out what could improve the lives of customers and then designing and innovating products to meet those needs. When you innovate with purpose, when your focus is on creating and delivering genuine solutions then there is no longer a need to chase the market; the market and the turnover will come to you.