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Trade Routes: Value Innovation

By: Michael Wynne
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 4

Innovation is work. It requires a systematic process that leads to an outcome. The steps of the process can vary, but the one thing that cannot vary is the need for a sense of urgency. How do you create a sense of urgency?

First— set goals. Goals channel energy toward the target. Second—set timelines with each goal. Timelines create a healthy level of pressure that prompts people to act faster.Third—tie the rewards to the outcome. No outcome, no reward. Fourth—frequently remind all involved that time is running out from the minute you set your watch. Fifth—along the way, analyze the existing innovation process looking for ways to create an even faster, better one.

Do you have to be a Gutenberg or an Edison to generate creative ideas? No. You do have to devote the time to creating exciting new ideas. You also need to b e organized. You can have the greatest ideas in the world, but if you don’t have a system for turning them into differentiated products and services that provide greater value, those ideas will fade away to nothing.