What is Innovation? (part two)

1828_bWhat do you mean by THAT?

A few years back I wrote a post called ‘What is Innovation?’ and tried to put a definition around the word.

But, hanging a definition onto something that has become such a buzzword is difficult.  By definition, any word or phrase that occurs in so many corporate mission statements starts to lose its original meaning.

The definition has expanded.  Or, contracted.  Or, diffused.  Now we feel a responsibility to define what kind of innovation we are discussion at any given time.  Is this incremental innovation? Is it breakthrough innovation?  Is it market innovation?  Is it product innovation? We are obliged define what we mean by each of those terms.

Maybe it is safer to avoid the term all together.  In the space of product and service development, what are we really talking about?

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Our Stuff Will Tell Us Stories

Over at Flip the Media, Cynthia Andrews has a story on Josh Coulson, a data-based story teller at LinkedIn.

His focus is on the interface between big data and stories.   Companies are already using our activity on the web to send us targeted marketing.  He thinks we’re just getting started:

“The internet of things will bring about a whole new level of data that will enable companies to offer new products and services to each consumer based on their needs. We will continue to tell stories driving the level of intelligence in common decision-making further.”

So our stuff will know our habits and needs and we will get marketing messages that are tailored accordingly.  Not sure if I want my toaster sending me adds about whole grain bread.

Still, that worries me less than messages from my toilet.

3 Ways Storytelling Can Help You Get Innovation Right

400px-Millais_Boyhood_of_RaleighIn this blog we focus on using story as a thinking tool for innovation.  It is worth it to review why story is so important.

Many people talk about the power of story in leadership.   Steve Denning has written several books on the topic.   A leader with a good story can take country to new heights or horrible destruction.

If that leader can articulate a great vision of a better future, then people will follow willingly.

That vision, that story, are what allow people to push through long hours, discomfort, uncertainty—because they know that there is something better on the other side.

Leaders in successful companies understand this.

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The Story 16: Team Leaders Matter: Innovation Teams Pt 2

You have a brilliant innovation team, but that is not enough.  Not only do you need to have the right people, but you will probably need to lead this team differently.

This podcast is a first look at how we lead innovation teams and why it is not the same as leading other teams.

We would love to get your feedback in the comments or at thestory@bright-innovation.com.

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The Story 15: People Matter: Innovation Teams Pt 1

Having smart people on your team is not enough.  Having the right people in the right roles makes a difference.

This podcast focuses on some common mistakes companies make when they put people onto an innovation team.  Just throwing the best brains at a problem is not the best way to get a great solution.

We would love to get your feedback in the comments or at thestory@bright-innovation.com.

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The Story 14: Using Scenarios to Create Stories

Turning your research into a story.  How do you take the tools you have used to get started and understand context and character and turn that information into a useful story that you can share?

We explore how to use personas and context to create scenarios, as well as how to use those scenarios as tools for inspiring and filtering ideas.

We would love to get your feedback in the comments or at thestory@bright-innovation.com.

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The Story 13: Opportunities

How do you find opportunities?

Many companies start with what they are good at or their current product line and look for people they think might want what they have.

We often argue that starting with a market need makes more sense.  But, how do you do that?  Following up on our two-part podcast on getting started, we look at how to hunt for and collect opportunities.

We would love to get your feedback in the comments or at thestory@bright-innovation.com.

Right Click here to download podcast