Sometimes you just have to say that the Emperor has no cloths on. What does innovation really mean? Why has every CEO committed resources to “be more innovative” but hasn’t produced results from their efforts? Is being innovative more about “feeling good” than anything else? But the real question is will innovative efforts produce the business results that are needed to be profitable.
Sometimes things go astray thinking that the more ideas you have, the better off you will be. You see it when Starbucks proudly proclaims that they have received over 100,000 ideas from their on-line suggestion web site. You see it when IBM brags of Idea Jams that generate many tens of thousands of ideas. You see it whenever a company boasts of an innovation initiative solely based on the number of ideas collected.
Use of the word innovation may need to be banned by CEO’s and they should force anyone using it to define what they mean and the results it will produce. At the end of the day, we need to produce more results for our business. Who cares if it is innovative or not if it improves the customer experience and produces more loyal customers?
The innovation cult is dangerous, so avoid becoming enslaved by a word that, in reality, has lost meaning. At the end of the day, results will be measured by your ability to accomplish business results; not your technical achievements. Unfortunately that’ll only get harder as the cult intensifies. Peter Waterhouse, Senior Technical Marketing Strategist at CA Technologies. Peter is co-author of the bookService Management Process Maps: Your Route to Service Excellence.