Innovation, The Tale of 3 Competencies

Innovation is a fashionable accessory in business at the moment with evangelists, innovation leaders, ideators and multitude of other creative titles popping up among creative geniuses but too much creative and not enough execution could be the single biggest risk to any business looking to strategically advance through innovation.

The process of building intelligent customer experiences, which at its core is typically very innovative, the idea is the easy bit. Ideas are never in short supply, you may of heard statements along the lines of “if business X had an app that did Y, they’d be hugely popular and make millions” the individuals making these statements truly believe they are the first to come up with the idea, the reality is they probably were not, it’s almost a certainty that someone else somewhere in the world, or even within business X, has had the very same idea. So why has it not been done it yet?

Innovation, As Easy as 1,2,3…

Innovation competencyAs the title suggests, innovation requires 3 key competencies to become a reality, and the great idea is just one of these competencies. So what else is needed?

Theodore Levitt, an American economist and professor at Harvard Business School summed it up with a very succinct statement

“Creativity is thinking up new things, Innovation is doing new things”

The critical element in his statement being the difference between “thinking” and “doing”. Of course the idea is an essential part but it needs to accompanied by 2 other core capabilities, the ability to actually turn your idea into reality and the business savvy to make it a success.

1. A great Idea
2. The engineering knowledge and expertise to build
3. The business know how to make it a success

If you’re a business with innovation on your mind or an entrepreneur with a great idea, ensure you have (or at least access to someone who has) the other two competencies to help make the idea a reality and a success.

If your business is embracing innovation, ensure you or your business leaders are built around these core capabilities, if you find someone who has skills in all three, well they are few and far between, true entrepreneurs, so look after them….

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