Thoughts on innovation and 5 posts to kick-start your week

Innovation in its purest essence, involves creative thinking, and proactive behavior that culminates in the production of a new idea. Innovation is everywhere is fluid and exists in a continuous state. This is known as the innovation continuum. It is also found in three areas regardless of niche, technology or type of innovation. The term, innovation continuum was coined by the society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana.

The three broad areas of innovation are:

  • Sustaining Innovation
  • Transformational Innovation
  • Disruptive innovation

There are few businesses today that don’t depend on innovation for long-term survival. Many politicians will say it is innovation that will help drive on the economy. Innovation must also be a frustrating subject in the boardroom for many market leaders. Everyone is aware of the pace of innovation that is driving the organization but it could sometimes be difficult to have a firm grasp on the direction. Microsoft and its Windows 8 operating system come to mind. Jeff DeGraff, Professor at University of Michigan, suggests a stop and start approach if you want to make innovation happen. In a LinkedIn post he offers two cases of well-known brands Apple and Microsoft. These businesses were forced to stop doing things they were accustomed to before they could start doing things in a new and innovative way.

Microsoft stopped the old because it wanted to. Apple stopped the old because it had to. Either way it took guts to do it. As customary with cycles of innovation, their roles are now reversed”.

As Windows 8.1 is released this week, Microsoft in particular has taken a media bashing, but Transformational innovations are admittedly the most difficult to master. To get ahead of the game there are key areas you need to pay strict attention to . For example, know what’s in your innovation pipeline in order to fuel future needs, make sure you have sustained funding and retain the right talent.

Jorge Barba used Storify to suggest 5 innovation must reads of the week, he is spot on, as Matt Recio’s post had already caught my attention. I covered the 10 types of innovation here: