One of the sparkiest writers and presenters on innovation is Scott Berkun. If you haven’t heard his lecture on why much of what we think we know about innovation is wrong, pop over to YouTube now! Here’s the link:
A number of years ago I completed a PhD on the Psychology of Entrepreneurs. I was particularly interested in whether entrepreneurs thought differently about innovation. Along the way I got help from some of the large accountancy firms who gave me access (with permission) to some of their more interesting clients. One such firm was Ernst & Young. Now winding forward a good few years I note that they have just published an insightful report on the connection between innovation and profit – or more specifically, the way in which the ability to manage, organise, cultivate and nurture creative thinking is directly related to growth. So, for example, whilst everyone probably agrees that innovation is necessary for growth – and, as psychologists, we are often tasked with finding innovatory ‘potential’ in candidates for top jobs – how many organisations actually set targets for innovation, or indeed truly make it a strategic priority? Also, innovation can be applied not only to what is produced, in terms of products and services, but to how a business works. How many do that? If you’re interested have a rummage through the Ernst & Young website; I’m sure you’ll find it enlivening.