Ask yourself these questions, and consider ‘Are we really taking innovation seriously?’

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I seem to say the same thing in every blog, and now I have recognised it I will be reordering the words into different ways of expression, but ‘innovation really is, hard’.


’Innovation’ is such a buzz word every business (and magazine) will overuse the word to the point of frustration

Innovation is difficult, innovation is challenging and because ’innovation’ is such a buzz word every business (and magazine) will overuse the word to the point of frustration.


The point is everyone is desperate to show that their innovation processes are working, especially if your job title denotes that it should be but eventually you do have to ‘sigh’ and ask ‘really, are they? So where is the proof?’


So let’s take a step back and ask ourselves 4 questions, and reflect upon our endeavours.


Chances are if you can answer yes to the following and provide evidence to the point, then your heading in the right direction. Heading in the right direction means that your more than likely strategizing innovation, it’s funded, its respected, its cared for, it has an impact and it is ‘really’ important to the business.


Think of your projects and work. Out of all the projects you are working on, which would you put into the class of innovation ‘number 1’ which is the one you are really proud of, the one you would stick a flag in?


With that in mind reflect upon the following:


  1. Monies – What kind of budget were you given? Where does that sit alongside the other budgets in the organisation? Do you really think it was an adequate amount of money to do the job?
  2. Does this project fit into the overarching business goals, framework and strategies? Is it connected?
  3. What impact has the project had? Did it go anywhere? Was it released and realised? Did it reach it’s potential?


Don’t just look at the above alone, because your own perspective may be tainted in the sense that you may be too close to the subject. Move away somewhat by getting another trusted colleague who was maybe not involved but knows the area well enough, or gets someone else to help who was at the other end of the pipeline.


Whilst answering with a positive response to the above is not, of course, definitive, in terms of determining whether you are taking innovation seriously, it will be helpful for you to get a sense of where you are?


Taking innovation seriously is not about job titles, one-off exercises or other buzz terms and traits. I’m not denouncing them either because I think they can be useful and positive in driving in the right direction. Serious innovation though does mean an investment of time, effort and money consistently. It also means marrying the efforts up strategically, and within a framework that connects to many branches of your business. It also means that you are able to be impactful and that you are being given, or are giving people the freedom to take the idea to its fruition and somewhere near, if not reaching its full potential.


All the normal channels of communication are open, so get in touch.

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David O’Coimin, Nook www.nookpod.com

David O’Coimin, Nook www.nookpod.com

'Design for the Extreme and Benefit the Mean Tell us about yourself? I’m a product designer, born in Dublin, and now live between Bristol and Amsterdam. I crave a balanced life with a mix of urban engagement and rural recharge. I’d describe myself as an extrovert -...

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