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August 12, 2018

Innovation Matters

People often use “creativity” and “innovation” interchangeably, but they mean two different things.

“Creativity is thinking up new things; innovation is doing new things.” Theodore Levitt

Productivity depends on both. You need creative team members who can envision new products, services, and solutions, but visioning without the ability to adapt and implement is counterproductive. That’s where innovation comes in.

Innovators find new ways of doing things that result in greater productivity, efficiency, and profitability. For example, someone can create a new software product, but it takes innovation to adapt the solution so that it works for the business and the environment.

  • Create a workplace where innovation is valued. Give employees time and opportunities to develop new ways of working that increase efficiency and productivity. In 1948, 3M launched its 15-percent program; 15 percent of employees’ time was dedicated to innovation. The Post-It® note was invented during 15-percent time.
  • Encourage out-of-the-box thinking, form work groups to leverage collaborative thinking, and seriously consider the ideas and suggestions they present.
  • Implement ideas that will produce positive results, but always explain why a suggestion cannot be implemented; otherwise, employees feel that their efforts were wasted.

The personal computer was a new creation, but it took the innovation of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to turn it into a household item and Apple® into an international success. Your business needs both creators and innovators for long-term growth and profitability.



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