Innovation is one of these words we use all the time and eventually, it ends up being some sort of bingo buzzword. Brianna Sylver urges us to take some hindsight and start defining this term before trying to … uh uh … innovate!
Brianna Sylver claims that defining innovation is a must
Innovation is “everything to all people”, as Brianna Sylver rightfully puts it in a recent (January 31, 2006) article in Business Week entitled “What does “Innovation” really mean? How to ensure success with your clients”.
Sylver describes the definition of innovation as merely “introducing something new” not really satisfactory. In her mind, and experience has shown us that this is really so, the innovation consultant will have to identify, first and foremost, what innovation means to the client with regard to the situation that the company is in.
Sylver has identified 3 potential scenarios:
- What she describes as the “burning platform” syndrome, whereby the client’s house is on fire, sales and profit dropping, and nobody knows why let alone what to do,
- Scenario 2 takes place when the firm has just gotten rid of the “burning platform” syndrome and they are seeking to establish a sustained innovation effort,
- Scenario 3 is when the firm is an established leader and innovation is aimed at staying ahead of the bunch, regardless of failures which may happen in the process.
Brianna Sylver (she is also the owner and founder of Sylver consulting) goes on with the description of how to tackle each scenario.
Definitely worth the read.
Defining Innovation with Brianna Sylver
The term “innovation”— along with its shopworn adjective, “innovative” and its breathless verb, “innovate!”— has become the rallying cry of every product manager, the pursuit of every design consultant, the autocomplete of every press release writer. The word’s been wrapped around everything from the Apple iPod to a new template in Microsoft Word. So how can one term be used to describe such vastly different things?
In essence, what does “innovation” really mean?
Technically, “innovation” is defined merely as “introducing something new;” there are no qualifiers of how ground-breaking or world-shattering that something needs to be—only that it needs to be better than what was there before. And that’s where the trouble starts when an organization requests “innovation services” from a consulting firm. Exactly what are they really requesting? The fact is, innovation means different things to different people.
Technically, “innovation” is defined merely as “introducing something new.” There are no qualifiers of how ground-breaking or world-shattering that something needs to be; only that it needs to be better than what was there before.
> Read on at Business Week online