Innovation – it is not driven or team aligned
Today I saw a group discussion topic posted on Linked In “How to Drive Innovation and Creative team Alignment” which started off with the statement “Important problems and great solutions don’t exist without customers. That’s because customers are the ultimate arbiter of whether organizations have products and services that are worth their time, effort, and money.”.
This is not by any definition innovation, it is giving clients features, colors, packaging of known products or technologies. Most truly innovative or wildly successful products were items, technologies or devises no one ever knew existed, wanted or conceived of. Innovation typically is not a team driven effort, it is a concept created by a free thinker that saw no limits in or boundaries in creating a new mechanism, technology, price point, shelf size optimization, category fit. Innovation is not marketing; it is the science of ideation without limits – true out of the box thinking. Innovation produces new categories of products and drives consumers to purchase, because it solves a problem or offers an advantage no one knew they needed.
Very few times (actually never) in my 50 plus years of product development have I had a retailer or marketing person create a new technology or new product that previously never existed in some known form.
Every time I hear these statements about team alignment for creativity or innovation by team, it reminds me of the old Tree Swing design analogy: