Innovation Perspectives – Decide to be Different

by Jeffrey Phillips

This is the first of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘What are three specific actions that a non-innovative company can take to become more innovative?’. Here is the initial perspective in the series:

by Jeffrey Phillips

Innovation Perspectives - Decide to be DifferentEvery firm has the capacity to innovate, so what’s often lacking has to do with strategy and vision. To be an “innovative” company means being willing to be different – to upset the structure of competition in an industry. So, one of the first things a non-innovative company must do is to decide to be different – to become a leader and a pioneer rather than a follower. To become proactive rather than reactive. As we like to say, the firm must leave the “safety of sameness”.

Next, once the decision has been made at the executive levels to embrace innovation, someone must communicate or define clear innovation goals or strategies. This can be as simple as defining a major problem to solve or opportunity to address. Innovators need clear targets, and those targets need to align to important corporate strategies.

Once you have the decision to innovate and a clear set of innovation targets, the next step is to gain innovation skills through training. This step assumes the organization will take on the work of innovation internally rather than outsource the efforts. People who understand the strategies, have a clear conception of the problem or opportunity and who have been given the tools to be effective can create new products and services.

So, in a nutshell, the three actions we will advise are:

  • Decide to be different
  • Identify a key problem or opportunity and communicate that
  • Provide training to your innovation teams

Taking these three steps will start you on a path to sustainable innovation.

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You can check out all of the ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles from the different contributing authors on ‘What are three specific actions that a non-innovative company can take to become more innovative?’ by clicking the link in this sentence.

Jeffrey PhillipsJeffrey Phillips is a senior leader at OVO Innovation. OVO works with large distributed organizations to build innovation teams, processes and capabilities. Jeffrey is the author of “Make us more Innovative”, and

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