Don’t just Invent. Innovate!
New Jersey has a rich history of inventions – the first steam locomotive, baseball, radar, Bell Labs & Thomas Edison’s anything… Each has proven the test of time as inventions, but how many companies survived the commercial challenges of the S-curve? That time when the novelty, uniqueness, or exclusivity has run out and your customers start looking elsewhere.
Invention is not the same as Innovation. It’s also easy to confuse Innovation with R&D. Even though the terms are often used synonymously, one really has little to do with the other and even less to do with your company’s continuing success. Innovation is a framework of ideals that when embraced will perpetually ensure your company stays relevant and bulletproofs it from disruption.
Innovation is a journey. Invention becomes a by-product.
The late Steve Jobs shared with Fortune Magazine, “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”
Strategy& (PWC) has sponsored a series of studies over decades focused on Innovation and has continually concluded that “R&D spending levels have no apparent impact on sales growth, gross profit, enterprise profit, market capitalization, or shareholder return.”
So, what does matter? What propels Innovation? A company’s Culture!
In my role as Managing Partner at BNG Search Partners, we’ve come to learn that the chief elements of an Innovation Culture include:
- Insatiable customer intimacy and understanding.
- Passion for delivering superior offerings.
- Collaboration and connection throughout the organization.
- Trust and tolerance for failure.
- Fast decisioning. And, action!
So, does that mean that everyone at your company needs to be innovative? No! While embracing the culture, but maintaining the sanity of a hierarchy, Innovation is best supported by key individuals that are placed throughout cross-functional teams, or “Innovation Networks” in a decentralized manner and surrounded by people with complimentary skill sets.
In BNG’s view, today’s top-performing organizations have Innovation Leaders throughout EVERY function. Finance, HR, Legal, Manufacturing, GTM all have those select people that see it differently, continually improve upon status-quo, and drive value to their most cherished people – their customers!
Located in Summit, NJ, BNG helps build its client’s only sustainable competitive advantage – their Leadership Capital!