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Here’s the catch…

Here’s the catch…

Innovation seems a simple concept, but according to Mangrove Consulting’s Nick Pye, too many companies are getting it all wrong. Here’s how to ensure you capture the big ideas consistently.

July 1, 2010 3:55 by

Fascination with the process of fishing and having the best kit (process, creativity, ideation, events, and so on) rather than interest in the nature of the catch has been the overall trend. These fair-weather fishermen are now the ones cutting back, selling their barely used trawlers or looking to fish closer to shore. In contrast, many other businesses are quietly pursuing growth in spite of the dramatic headlines. These are the real innovators.

From our work (and limited experience of fishing), we have identified four signs of fair-weather innovators.
Dubious commitment levels: Fishing requires patience and perseverance – you can’t give up when you have a barren spell. And if you’re serious about it, you need to go to sea whatever the weather conditions.

Failure in innovation is inevitable. Not all companies either accept this fact or tolerate it. This is especially true when market conditions get tougher. However, innovation needs to fit with the longer-term corporate goals and should not just be seen as a short-term solution to filling gaps in this year’s numbers.

Unclear expectations: Are you are fishing for fun or for your livelihood? How big does the catch need to be to make the trip to sea worthwhile? Are you after shoals of little ideas or a few high-value “marlin” ideas?
In some companies there is no sense of how many innovation projects should be worked on or how much revenue these projects should deliver. Should innovation be central to the company culture or something that remains on the periphery? Not all innovation projects are born equal; they vary in both size and risk.

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