Manufacturing an innovation
Following how companies implement the idea of innovation, could be a fun time to spend on line. I'm not saying there's no good ideas to find or best practices to think about. Simply, it's easy to recognize whether the company really have an innovation culture implemented or just running to catch the novelty everyone is talking about.
At a first glance, both examples look the same. Their PR's work overtime to show how important innovation culture is. The most activities, both inside and outside of the company are organized to glorify "the new". So where to find the difference? what I believe the source of innovation should match the final user of innovation. If there is a discrepancy between those two, PR managers have a lot to do to earn their salaries. For them, it's not an easy job to find appropriate words to cover a simple question: What is it good for?
There is another simple rule - the bigger are the words - the more insignificant is the message. If your simple question has an answer like " you don't understand the importance of what we're tending to achieve" or something, you've found yourself a runner. A runner whose only goal is to look busy, finding the place among the elite. Which is innovation. At the moment.
The truth is, the most important question before we innovate is - who will be the user. Or where is our target audience.
The most common mistake, and unfortunately the most used practice is to do a brain trust. Gather some people together and make them to make something that will make the whole team innovative.
There is no difference between a group of experts or group of ordinary people doing their jobs. Those groups are closed and far away from the final user. That means their innovation has a great chance to miss the target.
Here i am not talking about the difference between " walking the clouds" and "keeping both feet on the ground". There are a lot of techniques, covering the topic how to come up of something on a close meeting. The real breaker here is the actual value of a product, service or an idea.
To illustrate this mind set, let's think what would happen if you try to drill the tunnel through a mountain. If you do it only from one side to another, it is hard to keep the direction and you'll probably miss desired site. That's why it's a sound strategy to try to drill from both sides expecting the meeting somewhere in the middle. Both ways assume hard calculations to achieve results. Without it, the only innovation you'll probably need to catch is how to rescue workers from the wrong drill hole.
Back to my point, what we really need in an innovation meeting is A-ha moment. This is a hard one. Looking for it on a close session is a miracle work. You need more than that. Take your walking shoes and go see the client. Talk and listen until your neck starts to hurt. But mostly listen. There among client's words is your a-ha. Useful info that will lead you to a true innovation.
After that, there is a different fight for your innovation. There are too many closed meetings, guided by closed minds, who'll know you have reached something. And they will hate you for that. So much, that you might consider participating some of those closed meetings. Maybe they are not bad after all.
If you are a PR.