Innovation of Business

and the
Business of Innovation™

Practical, Actionable Knowledge

  The Essence of Innovation™

Tested Business Wisdom

Quick View: Crucial business decisions depend on accuracy of concepts. Innovation is today’s business buzzword, yet definitions often equate this primary corporate strategy with creativity or invention. Brand is any business’s most valuable asset, yet executives mistake it for product naming. The disciplines of marketing logically define, design, and empower the business, yet not when marketing is understood as websites, brochures, and trade shows. These newsletters deliver clarity needed by any innovative business. Opt in at...

Innovation teams need shared language and perspectives. Since innovation drives business, language for innovation must be a language of business. In the same sense, processes for innovation must be strategies for achieving business objectives. That is, innovators gain leverage by thinking and acting for the benefit of the business. Because global change is accelerating, innovators need to be powerful agents of change.

The solution is a monthly essay available to all who Opt In.

Topics include: Language of innovation, justifying innovation, implementing innovation, applying innovation to non-traditional targets such as corporate culture. Basic principles: No one ever buys a product. A brand is not a name. Our job is not to make money. “How?” is not the first question to ask. Innovation is not invention or creativity. Innovation is not a solitary activity. Justifying an innovation is never about the innovation.

Our job is to challenge your thinking. Challenge your process. Challenge your ability to increase ROI to fund the next cycle. Challenge your capacity for creating the customer loyalty that paves the way for wealth creation.

If these statements raise questions in your mind, then you need a resource that challenges your assumptions. 


A Language of Innovation

For Innovators Everywhere

In the world of business, few words are as emphasized today as “innovation.”  On the other hand, few are as variously defined.  It seems that authors and institutions define the term to serve their own purposes.  Here, we develop language from the basic Webster’s definition:  “Innovate – To introduce new methods, devices, etc.”

“Introduce” implies a market which implies stakeholders.  Use of “etc.” implies a broad range of innovations.  Since innovation may happen anywhere around any idea, we need to dramatically broaden the concepts of market, product, and stakeholder. That is, consider the definitions here in context of the generalizations of terms in the appendix below.  

Fifteen Essential Definitions
For Innovators and Marketers

 Innovate:  Define, design, develop, and launch a specific change initiative with compelling value for targeted stakeholders.  Invent and commercialize.  Develop and apply.  Innovation is not complete until the initiative has made impact on a market.

 Compare to Invent:  Define, design, and develop something new.  A step toward innovation.

 Compare to Create:  Bring something new into being, especially something requiring artistic or intellectual skill and inventiveness. 

 Innovation as Result:  A valuable product not previously available that meets needs not previously met.

 Compare to Invention:  A potentially valuable product that might meet needs if introduced to a market.

 Innovation as Process:  Development of ideas into products in use, for the first time anywhere, that create compelling value for customers.

 Innovation System:  A suite of processes for ideating, inventing, productizing, and commercializing new or changed businesses and products.

 Compare to Invention as a Process:  Thinking through via experiment and testing to produce a new device or process.

 Incremental innovation: A new modification of an existing product that creates added value for customers and other stakeholders. 

 Radical innovation: A product which is entirely new-to-the-world and performs a function for which no product has previously existed. 

 Breakthrough Innovation:  A process or product that changes an entire domain of innovation forever, as recognized by domain experts, e.g., assembly line, Internet browser.

 Re-innovation:  Evolution of an existing product to create compelling new value for customers via new features and functions that meet needs not previously met.

 Innovator:  A business, company, or cross-functional team not an individual –  able to complete or outsource the sum of ideation, invention, productization, and commercialization.  An agent of change.  A business who chooses and initiates purposeful changes.  A leader. 

 Compare to Inventor:  One who invents. 

 Innovative:  Characterized by being visionary, inventive, and/or creative with awareness of the complexities of completing an innovation.

 Innovated:  Successfully changed.  Changed from nothing to something or from old thing to new thing.  From new idea to something valuable and in use, or from old value and utility to higher value and utility.

            An “Innovated Business”:  A business successfully changed.  Entrepreneurship is innovation of a new business.  Intrapreneurship is innovation of a new business within an existing company.
            An “Innovated Product”:  A product successfully changed.
NOTE:  Change comes in many forms.  An underlying implication of “innovated” is that the change process empowers innovators with a shared vision that develops common commitment to increasing value delivered to a range of stakeholders. 

 Innovation Vision:  Product:  A multifaceted, shared perception of what a completed “product” must be to satisfy customers in real-world environments and to compete successfully for preference.  Business:  A multifaceted, shared perception of business operations required to invent, complete, launch, sell, and service a “product” at a profit.

 Innovation Strategy:  Carefully conceived integration of processes and resources required to define, design, develop, and launch an innovation on time, in budget, and at required quality.

 Innovation System:  Methods for applying processes, facilities, funding, people, and other resources to turn investment in new ideas into ongoing returns on investment from markets.

 Culture of Innovation – positive:  The intellectual and emotional environment in which innovation occurs that reinforces innovative behaviors and processes, encourages high performance, and attracts top quality people from bench scientists to senior management.  Positive management support and empowerment of innovators which brings in skills and energy which improve innovation and deliver winning products that justify further investment in the positive culture.

 Engine of Innovation – powerful:  The synergistic combination of vision, culture, people (skills, experience, motivations), strategies, processes, tools, and tactics that lead to innovation productivity and leverages existing wealth to fund innovation which delivers new wealth.  Consistent high innovation productivity which delivers high return on investment that attracts ongoing financial support and resources which enable further innovation.