Sometimes the question you ask is more important than the actions you take.
During President Obama’s inauguration speech, he said:
“The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.”
This is brilliant in its simplicity. The same thought applies to innovation.
The question you need to ask is not whether you are developing creative products, processes or business ideas, but whether your innovation efforts work – whether they serve your customers, serve your employees, and ultimately serve your shareholders.
Innovation is not about change for change sake. It is about purposeful change that creates value that reduces costs, increases sales, or improves cash flow.
In these troubling times, asking the right question is more important than ever. Do your innovation efforts work?
Stephen Shapiro is the author of three books, a popular innovation speaker, and is the Chief Innovation Evangelist for Innocentive, the leader in Open Innovation.