Understanding “innovation” relationships
With so much current interest in innovation, and with there being so many differences of view on what innovation is, one way to organise one’s thinking on the topic is to describe its relationship to other topics.
… with “marketing”!
The relationship between innovation and marketing is a particularly important, and this led to an article on several aspects of that pairing.
While strategy and tactics are important topics, which are frequently confused, the role of innovation provides a key to distinguishing them.
This led to an article, focussed on the innovation aspects of strategy, which is intended to separate the two more clearly by describing their relationship, and putting tactics in their place!
Innovations might come from ideas, but ideas might not lead to innovations.
Innovations enable us to make small steps, big jumps and giant leaps in the direction that we choose to go. But searching for, and realising, those innovations involves more than searching for, and developing, ideas.
An idea might be a key that fits a lock, that opens a door, on a route, through a barrier to our chosen direction. But in our search for ideas that might be keys, it is useful to know the direction, the barriers, the routes, the doors and the locks.
An idea is not the beginning of the development of an innovation. It is not even the end of the beginning. It might, however, be the beginning of the end.
Innovation happens automatically, under the right conditions, like fire.
For fire, those conditions are generally: fuel, air supply and heat. Removing any one, prevents it.
- fuel is something valuable to be done,
- air supply is the communication of information and ideas,
- heat is energy, and sparks of enthusiasm and inspiration.
Innovation is prevented by:
- misunderstanding value,
- stifling communication,
- pouring water on sparks.
When none of those are happening, innovation happens … automatically!