Innovation is not just problem solving, coming up with wacky ideas, or the creation of new technology. It’s not just thinking up new ideas and hoping they will gain traction.

You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new…Steve Jobs

Innovation is the sum of all these parts and as such, it requires a plan. It needs a strategy.

Innovation is joining the dots…

Creating successful innovation that delivers impact without creating a strategy is like drawing a picturesque landscape from memory. Chances are key detail will be missed. Your perspective will become skewed as you only apply focus on aspects that captured your attention in the first place.

Joining the dots

By joining the dots, you start to identify key elements and make sense of how they all link together. As your masterpiece starts to emerge and your strategy develops, you enhance your chances of creating a compelling outcome; one which resonates with your audience.

Too often we become blinded by an immediate trend. The need or want to discover a solution, to tick a box, or capitalise on a short-term commercial opportunity.

Innovation is about connecting, not inventing.

No idea will make a difference without building around it the networks that will support it as it grows, and the network partners with which it will ultimately flourish... Andrew Hargadon

Innovations that have the greatest impact are built on a solid foundation. They have a clear understanding of the emotional drivers and sentiments of the audience. They also have an appreciation for socioeconomic models from which the dots can be joined between measurable behaviours (feedback, trends, and habits) and the root causes of reactions (values, beliefs, and sentiments).

When innovating we must also not lose sight of the market. As we establish an understanding of emotional drivers, we can now approach trends and new technologies with specific personas and motivations in mind and appreciate their relevancy and impact on the audience.

We begin to identify meaningful opportunities driven by a deeper understanding of the audience and set ourselves up for an even greater shot at successful innovation.

When you are able to combine these elements along with organisation's needs and objectives, it becomes much easier to establish appropriate strategies and processes to achieve these goals.

Let’s join the dots and build meaningful and impactful innovations together.


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Rachel Sparkhall

Rachel Sparkhall

Talking all things Design, Innovation and Sustainability

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