Stop Talking Innovation
Or The Semantic Satiation of Innovation
Have you ever been in the situation where you use a word a few times in conversation and suddenly the word sounds wrong, slightly ridiculous and loses its sense of meaning? This phenomenon is called semantic satiation and it describes what happens to a lot of corporate innovation initiatives: the word innovation is said, written and broadcast so many times and in so many situations that it loses its meaning and starts to sound ridiculous. This is not a good thing for innovation initiatives and is perhaps a reason why some innovation managers feel their efforts are not being taken seriously.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem: stop using the word "innovation" so much!
Instead, talk about the purpose of your innovation. You should not innovate for the sake of innovating. Rather, you should be doing it to keep ahead of the competition, to grow and to improve processes. As I have written in the past, the world's most innovative companies do not tend to talk about innovation. Instead, they focus on relentlessly pursuing a strategic vision. You should do this too.
If, for example, your company manufactures perfumed head polishing creams for bald men and your vision is to produce the best, most natural looking and smelling cream, then this is the primary focus of your innovation. In this case, all you have to do is stop nagging your colleagues to innovate and instead encourage them to dream up exciting, new ways to provide bald men with polished and perfumed heads. As you can surely see, you are still promoting innovation among your colleagues, but you are doing it in a way that makes its purpose clearer, not only to colleagues, but also to customers, business partners and others.
This simple act promotes actual innovation, reduces empty innovation talk and leads to results. Profitable results.
Innovation Focus & Implement
The article above, "Stop Talking About Innovation" is one part of an exciting and comprehensive new service I am offering to innovation leaders in medium to large organisations: Innovation Focus & Implement.
If your organisation's innovation initiative is producing lots of small ideas, few big ideas and little implementation, Innovation Focus & Implement is for you. It is a package of services designed to encourage and focus big innovation on corporate vision; focus small, easy to implement ideas on current business needs
The result, is a more streamlined innovation system that results in real innovation rather than too many ideas.
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