Innovation in Practice: Two Years!

The LAB: Innovating Your Wallet Using S.I.T. (December 2009)
December 7, 2009
Fixedness
December 21, 2009

Innovation in Practice: Two Years!

I sincerely thank you for reading this blog. Readership continues to grow, and this motivates me to contribute new ideas to the innovation community. This month marks the two year point, and I wanted to share some thoughts about what happened this year and what to look forward to in 2010.

I sincerely thank you for reading this blog.  Readership continues to grow, and this motivates me to contribute new ideas to the innovation community.  This month marks the two year point, and I wanted to share some thoughts about what happened this year and what to look forward to in 2010.

The themes of this blog are:

  • Innovation is a skill, not a gift.  It can be learned like any other skill such as marketing, leadership, or playing the guitar.  To be an innovator, learn a method.  Teach others.
  • Innovation is a two-way phenomena.  We can start with a problem and innovate solutions.  Or we can generate hypothetical solutions and explore problems that they solve.  To be a great innovator, you need to be a two-way innovator.
  • Innovation must be linked to strategy.  Innovation for innovation’s sake doesn’t matter.  Innovation that is guided by strategy or helps guide strategy yields the most opportunity for corporate growth.
  • The corporate perspective, where innovation is practiced day-to-day, is what must be understood and kept at the center of attention.  How the corporate practitioner views the academic community, the consulting community, and the research community is where we will find best practices.  This is where truth is separated from hype.
2009 Highlights:
  • I am having a lot of fun with The Lab series of blog posts.  This is where I try to demonstrate innovation in real time by taking a category and applying structured innovation tools.  As far as I know, this is the only blog that actually demonstrates innovation with the intent of creating new ideas, and not just reporting on other people’s ideas. This year, I applied innovation to: the Kindle, Twitter, garage door opener, computer keyboard, surgical mask, credit cards, shredded wheat, health care, a hockey stick, social media, mobile products, and your wallet.
  • I started two new series:  Innovation Sightings is way to practice seeing the patterns that exist in products and services.  It is the patterns that led Professor Jacob Goldenberg and his colleagues to devise creativity templates that allow you to innovate over and over.  By spotting patterns, you strengthen your innovation skills.  I also started a series called Academic Focus.  This is a way to bring attention to those professors who excel at teaching and researching innovation for the corporate practitioner.
  • I had the good fortune of meeting up with some fellow innovators and bloggers including Andrea Meyer, Jim Todhunter, Jim Belifore, Mark Atkins, Sally Kay, and my “blog mentor,” Christopher Allen.
  • I have a new academic role in addition to my corporate role.  I split my time between Johnson & Johnson and the University of Cincinnati, and it is challenging me to find new leverage points and opportunities.
  • I am a guest blogger at Braden Kelley’s Blogging Innovation, and I like being a part of this group.
  • This blog has a new design, and I have added features to help people get the most out of it.  This includes Google Translate, a search function, a podcast on innovation methods, and links to  my other social media sights.
2010 Outlook:
  • More focus on skills: I want to give readers more detailed insight to help them learn and use methods of innovation.
  • More focus on strategy:  I want to uncover more about the intersection of strategy and innovation and how to put it in practice.
  • More focus on YOU, the reader.  I appreciate the emails and contacts from many of you this year, and I hope to hear from more of you in 2010.

Drew