To see my innovation equation please take a look here where you will see the various components explained. This equation is both simple and profound. It states that innovation is simply a blend of creativity (coming up with new ideas), managing know how (the things we already know) and the frameworks that we put in place to help these processes along. Note that I have not mentioned Research and Development, High Technology, Science or any of the other keywords that both companies and governments like to use in their strategy documents. Cutting edge R & D is simply applied creativity with the emphasis on the ‘R’ whilst Product Development uses some Creativity but using existing ideas and Know How. Production is simply a physical manifestation of Know How. This may not suit those who have a drum to beat but it does keep things nice and simple.
This equation also helps to show that it takes a variety of different types of people to make innovation happen. We are talking about an innovation system rather than group of innovative people. After all, a truly creative person is the last person who you might want to look after your company accounts! On the other hand, just because your company accountant is logical, any system that you have for capturing and managing good ideas must not prevent them from making contributions.
The other main ideas to take away from the Innovation Equation are:
- Try to bulldoze changes through your company and output can go down
- The more mature and refined your innovation frameworks become, the greater the benefit you will derive from them
- Innovation is essentially about people not technology
- Innovation can be measured directly