What Does It Take To Innovate?

by Jay Deragon on 12/26/2009

missing pieceMarkets move based on new innovation. Market leaders know this and constantly look for ways to create and bring innovation to market.

Are You Thinking About Innovation?

Accenture writes: To further understand how companies are addressing innovation in this economic climate, Accenture conducted an online survey of more than 630 executives in May, 2009 in the United States and United Kingdom. Respondents represented a broad cross-section of industries – including automotive, banking, capital markets, consumer goods and services, electronics and high tech, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medical products, and retail.

Key Findings

According to this Accenture research, almost half of respondents said they increased funding for innovation in the preceding six months, while one-third said there was no change in funding for innovation. Additionally, nearly nine out of 10 these respondents said that innovation is as important, if not more important, than cost reductions to their company’s ability to achieve future growth.

However, the Accenture study found flaws in corporate management of innovation, including process shortcomings and a lack of business discipline that result in internal barriers to success. Additionally, there is widespread risk-aversion and a failure to learn from past mistakes. Past innovation failures are most commonly attributed to incorrect pricing, failure to meet customer needs, and being late to market, which can be mitigated by approaching innovation with the appropriate structure and rigor.

What Does It Take To Innovate?

Dan Robles writes: Harvard Business Review contributing editor Bronwyn Fryer conducted a six-year study surveying 3,000 creative executives and conducting an additional 500 individual interviews. During this study she identified five “discovery skills” that distinguish them (reference article here)

The 5 Discovery Skills

1. The first skill is what we call “associating.” It’s a cognitive skill that allows creative people to make connections across seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas.

2. The second skill is questioning — an ability to ask “what if”, “why”, and “why not” questions that challenge the status quo and open up the bigger picture.

3. The third is the ability to closely observe details, particularly the details of people’s behavior.

4. Another skill is the ability to experiment — the people we studied are always trying on new experiences and exploring new worlds.

5. And finally, they are really good at networking with smart people who have little in common with them, but from whom they can learn.

Encourage Childhood Curiosity

The study was further associated with an enriched childhood experiences and early development of the child’s curiosity.  It is difficult to disagree with any of these findings and it is of dire importance to duplicate at any expense these conditions for our children the sake of their future and the world that they will inherit.

The 6th Discovery Skill; discovering the missing pieces.

Suppose that a person has a high surplus in skill # 1, #2 and #4 and but an extreme deficit in #3 and #5 ?  The profile can then be just as easily associated with a sociopath destined for incarceration. So what do we do with the other 99.99% of people?  Are they incapable of Innovation?  Are they not the ones to “bet on” in the race for a cure from ourselves?

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

It is not surprising that Harvard, the bastion of top .01% humans would, in fact, find themselves in the proverbial mirror.  However, they do leave us a hint in skill #5; the ability to network with smart people who have little in common but from whom they can learn.

The great opportunity for an innovation economy built on social media is the ability to purposely match most worthy knowledge deficit to most worthy knowledge surplus so that teams of people can be designed to simulate the ideal top .01% human and thereby vastly increase the innovation and entrepreneurial capacity of society.

Let’s rethink this

Such as structure for an innovation economy built on a social media platform is specified by the Ingenesist Project and others.  It includes a revised definition for innovation, a knowledge inventory, a  percentile search engine, a system for matching knowledge assets, and a feedback system to capture  and duplicate desirable outcomes – all integrated and securitized in a financial instrument.  Will the secret sauce resemble the 5 discovery skills that made the morning headlines?  Who knows? After all, that’s exactly how I wrote this article.

{ 16 comments }

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card4net February 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm

What Does It Take To Innovate? http://bit.ly/8RHNok

ivan walsh January 4, 2010 at 3:36 am

Accenture study on what its takes to innovate, interesting findings http://bit.ly/8RHNok

Nigel Adams December 29, 2009 at 5:53 am

What Does It Take To Innovate? http://bit.ly/8RHNok

Nigel Adams December 29, 2009 at 5:49 am

Interesting post. Helpful in identifying innovators.
I like the comment about the need to “Encourage childhood curiosity”

HARISH RAJPAL December 27, 2009 at 10:17 am
HARISH RAJPAL December 27, 2009 at 10:17 am
Dale Lawrence December 27, 2009 at 6:44 am

What Does It Take To Innovate? http://bit.ly/8RHNok

Angela Suddarth December 26, 2009 at 12:37 pm

[email protected] What Does It Take To Innovate?: Markets move based on new innovation. Market leaders know this and cons… http://bit.ly/8LSqf4

yamasas December 26, 2009 at 11:49 am

[twitter] RT @AronStevenson: What Does It Take To Innovate? http://bit.ly/5doFi7 #socialmedia

StarGazon December 26, 2009 at 11:32 am

What Does It Take To Innovate? /The Relationship Economy……/ – Markets move based on new innovation. … http://tinyurl.com/ya3nbl5

RRG December 26, 2009 at 10:56 am

RT @thejordanrules: Valuable review of innovation research; some great skills to develop that will help encourage…: http://bit.ly/6DlT0X

Joe Grasso December 26, 2009 at 10:06 am

What Does It Take To Innovate?: The great opportunity for an innovation economy built on social med.. http://bit.ly/5doFi7
[email protected]

Jordan Julien December 26, 2009 at 9:58 am

Valuable review of innovation research; some great skills to develop that will help encourage innovation: http://bit.ly/6DlT0X

Shane December 26, 2009 at 8:51 am

What Does It Take To Innovate? http://bit.ly/5sERJ5

rob harvey December 26, 2009 at 8:20 am

good article on the relational side of innovation. personally, i enjoy the social side of innovation…
.-= rob harvey´s last blog ..JustTweets: What Does It Take To Innovate?: Markets move based on new innovation. Market leaders know this and constantly look … http://bit.ly/8gGdTh =-.

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