Innovation - it's easier than you think

Innovation is often taken to be the process that results in �big ideas�, transformational and revolutionary ideas that change dramatically how we think and act. So we are urged to be creative ... but we struggle to come up with these revolutionary idea ... and we think we are failures.

However, we are looking at the wrong thing; trying too hard. Innovation is not invention � it is �applied� � it usually results in a change in a process or in the application of an idea, rather than in the idea itself.

Of course some innovations are �big ideas� � but they don�t have to be. One striking feature of many innovations is that they seem obvious or simple when viewed with hindsight. (Consider the first time that someone had the idea of �insurance� � paying for disasters before they happen. The idea must have seemed very strange at first � now it seems an obvious thing to do.)

David Neeleman, the founder and CEO of JetBlue, the US budget airline, once described innovation as �a way of doing something better than it has been done before� � if you aim for that, you can�t go far wrong. You do need to innovate - after all that's why you're an entrepreneur.... but you don�t have to �go for broke�; simply try pick what is important to your business = and then apply yourself (yes, you still have to put in some effort!) to improving the situation or solving the problem until you can do whatever it is better than it has ever been done before.

(More to come on this!)


Productivity is my 'bag' ... it is what I know about. I am President of the World Confederation of Productivity Science - and Director of the National Productivity Centre in the UK - go to this site for some good free resources and some (paid for but low price) e-learning on productivity. I also edit the International Journal of Productivity & Performance Management. My views on productivity and on learning (which I think are related) are su...

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