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Innovation propels companies forward. It's an unlimited source of new growth and can give businesses a distinct competitive advantage. Learn how to innovate at your own business using Systematic Inventive Thinking, a method based on five techniques that allow you to innovate on demand. In this course, author and business school professor Drew Boyd shares the techniques he's taught Fortune 500 companies to innovate new services and products. Drew provides real-world examples of innovation in practice and suggests places to find your own opportunities to innovate.
In the bonus chapter, Drew shares insights from his own career and answers tough questions on resistance to innovation, innovation and leadership, and the difference between generating vs. executing innovative ideas.
You know you could get very good at innovating to the point where some might scratch their head and say, "Hey, are we overdoing it here?" I would agree. There's probably some truth to that. You can overdo it, but you can underdo it as well. I remember this story vividly. A colleague of mine who wanted to innovate, but she didn't want to devote three days to it. She just wanted to do two days of an off-site, formal ideation workshop. I agreed. I said, "Okay, let's try it." So we did two days and she came to me at the end of two days, and she was like (eh).
We were so close. We should have done three days. It taught me a good lesson that innovation is like the game of golf. For those golfers out there, putting is probably the most important part of the game of golf. The most important rule in putting is never leave the putt short because 100% of the putts left short don't go in. (laughs) The same is true with innovation. You don't want to leave yourself short. You're better off over-innovating a little than under-innovating.
That said, can you overdo it? Yeah, I think it happens here when maybe you overdo it and you get sort of like idea anarchy. You've got so many opportunities you're like, "Oh, where do we start? "Where do we dig in?" This is where you have to have good filtering methods. You have to have good idea selection processes to help you winnow that down a little bit. Innovating is hard work. What I see is that team's kind of go in cycles. They innovate then they take a break and they get back to business and get things implemented.
Then they come back, it could be six months, it could be a year later. They sort of store their energy and move through the business cycle in these waves where they innovate for a while and then they have to stop and get the business running. I agree with that. Teams that are just constantly (buzzing) innovating and not taking that breather, they'll fatigue eventually. They will have to step away from it.
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