In the last 10 years there has been more talk about innovation than in the previous 5,000. The world is witnessing incredible advances in science, medicine, space exploration and technology. But have other sectors advanced at the same speed as the world?
To innovate is to have a different look. It is to evolve what exists. While many are reluctant to adopt new forms of business, thinking that the risks of innovation are too high, others firmly believe that the only risk is not to innovate. Not innovating does not mean doing nothing, but always doing the same thing.
To innovate you need to have people at the core.
It is necessary to have a structure and an environment that enhances innovation within companies. When we talk about innovation we do not talk about a person, we talk about teams, people willing to open the doors to these new ideas and an organizational culture.
Many people have good ideas, but the people who turn those sparks into flames are the ones who truly believe that change is not only necessary but inevitable.
There is talk of innovation in companies because innovation is scarce. No one talks about what naturally abounds.
The consequences of not adapting to change are well documented
It is incoherent to talk about innovation and and the same time do the same thing as always.
The old thing worked, and it was fine, but now new winds are blowing. And as the old and so prevalent Chinese proverb reads, “when winds of change blow up some build walls and others build mills.”
Today we are surprised when we see companies that bet on innovation. Although this should be the expected attitude. Innovating, it is true, involves taking risks. But isn’t it riskier to stay stuck in an old model? To innovate implies to enter in ways less traveled without signs or maps. To innovate is, moreover, to know how to manage uncertainty, to transform the unknown into a friend and not into an enemy.
And while we talk about innovation we also talk about disruption. We have witnessed how Uber has revolutionized urban transport, Airbnb did the same for accommodation, Apple the music market and Tesla the automotive sector. These, to name but a few, have disrupted entire industries. It is in this “new” world where the great no longer eats the small, but it is the fast that devours the slow. Will the next disruption in your sector come from within or come from outside? The significant change that many industries have ahead is already under way.
The retail sector, for example, is undergoing a huge transformation, fueled by the changing needs of consumers. Shopping malls are a mirror of people’s values and lifestyles. As these values and lifestyles change, malls must change at the same time.
To understand where we come from, where we find ourselves it’s enough to have access to the Internet and look up in Google, Wikipedia and other sources, but to know where we are headed we must have an increasingly open mind. It is no longer a matter of accessing more data but accessing a new mentality.
The path of innovation must set the course for people.