I have noticed that as soon as you use the word ‘innovation’ in a conversation, most people immediately assume that you’re talking from the realm of the epic and world changing or the spectacular and breath-taking. Whilst disruptive innovation is important, I think it sits at just one end of a wide spectrum, at an end that receives dis-proportionately large amounts of attention. Let’s spend more time at the other end, the end of the small and the incremental, the quick and the cheap.
The benefits of working in this space are so numerous that, rather than offer any comprehensive analysis or opinion here, I will simply throw up some that stand out for me:
RISK – lower both for resource and the implications of taking a new innovation to a market or society
TIME – quicker in terms of resource, process and seeing results; failing happens quickly
DIFFICULTY – fewer and smaller barriers to innovation process, implementation, roll-out; reduced stakeholder network complexity; smaller technical and conceptual leaps; credibility can be built
So what’s the best way of investigating this sometimes unfamiliar territory? I’m sure there’s a perfect algorithm somewhere that will beautifully describe the most effective and efficient approach. However, I believe we learn most effectively by simply doing, and this point in the spectrum provides an environment that is conducive to just that.
Let’s spread our attention more evenly across the innovation spectrum and allow ourselves to change the way in which we approach things. Whilst time for talking, discussing, meeting, strategising, postulating, hypothesising and analysing can’t be eradicated altogether, why not take some of this time to make sure we answer the question ‘so what are we ACTUALLY going to do?’ ?