Innovation ≠ Invention

I was flicking through one of the Fast Company sites recently. I’m always interested in the sources of innovation, so clicked with eagerness to learn about the six questions that lead to new innovations.

But what a missed opportunity. It was far too abstract. Which was pretty disappointing, considering the super definition at the outset;

Innovation doesn’t necessarily entail creating something new. It’s not the same as invention. Rather, innovation usually involves a fresh perspective on something that already exists…

I thought immediately of all the From Good To Great fans, and anyone that believes first-mover advantage is a fallacy.

Many a sales force I’ve encountered strives for innovation. Yet it is lamentably often of the wheel re-invention type.

I am minded of perhaps the killer message from my business school examination of innovation. Most game changing work heralds neither from blind imitation, nor pure invention, but “appropriation”. Adapting what exists today in a subtle way to create something different.

It is a telling fact that most sales “innovations” that people so strongly seek, are either already in place somewhere inside your sales operation, or can be attained by a gentle movement from what is taking place right now.

The temptation when formulating an all new sales plan is to go full on for the brand spanking new. Rein this in and build on something you have instead and you too could find selling innovation a simple process.

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