“Innovation is a verb!” exclaims Robert Newhart from the cover of my materials packet. I recently attended a session with the CEO of the Innovation Center in Bend, Oregon. This exclamation was definitely the theme for the day. The session was filled with activities and lecture that revolved around the idea of doing not just thinking. Innovation and creativity are the lifeblood that moves a group, an organization or even a country forward and allows quick ability to change. The Innovation Center has made it their business to help organizations foster cultures that promote innovation.
Whenever an individual or firm innovates there is a risk and reward trade-off. Unfortunately, often only the risk is perceived. Mr. Newhart and company remind organizations that the reward to innovate does exist and can be great indeed.
Sometimes the key to innovation can be as simple as thinking outside of the box. Most people equate new products or product changes with new inventions. The Innovation Center will tell you there are six P’s of potential innovation. Innovation can occur in any one or combination of the following six areas: people, price, place, product, process, promotion.
Organizations have opportunities to innovate around one or all of these areas. The Innovation Center challenges their participants to list one way they can innovate in each of the areas. At the very least, this exercise get most organizations thinking about and truly understanding their business model in new ways. A better understanding of the business will lead to better innovation. Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”