Welcome to Extreme Innovations’ deep dive into the practical aspects of innovation. Our hope is that after reading this ongoing series, you come away with a better understanding of how to address the following organizational challenges in your day to day business.
- Balancing innovation and shareholder returns.
- Identifying and overcoming barriers to innovation.
- Properly defining individual innovation challenges.
“The myth of innovation is that it starts with entrepreneurs, but it really starts with people having fun. The Wright brothers weren’t trying to build an airline, they were saying, “Holy shit, do you think we could fly?” The first kids who made snowboards, they just glued skis together and said, “Let’s try this!” With the web, none of us thought there was money in it. People said, “This document came from halfway around the world. How awesome is that!”
– Tim O’Reilly
Exactly what is it?
The one thing we can say for certain about innovation is that it is as difficult to define as it is to enact. A blanket term, a buzzword often spoken for the sake of it – businesses large and small agree that it is crucial but many fail to carry out the process of actually doing it. This leaves us with a problem. How do we go about doing something that we have trouble defining exactly what “it” is? How do we get to the point where an organization understands and executes on an innovation strategy?
Over the course of the following few weeks, Extreme plans to delve into the concept of innovation with the goal of highlighting the inherent complexities involved in “coming up with something new”. What follows is a synthesis of Extreme’s experiences combined with research from innovation thought leaders and experienced practitioners. Discussion topics include:
- Innovation truisms
- The paradox of corporate innovation
- Internal vs external innovation
- How to go about innovating
- Was Kenny Rogers right?
- Motivating Employees (Hint: It’s not always about the money)
- The method behind startups’ madness
- Putting the innovation pieces together
Our goal with the Innovation Series is not so much to tell you that “you are doing it wrong”, but to foster a discussion in regards to both the necessity and difficulty of purposeful innovation.
Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.
– Peter Drucker