Innovation Through Accretion

It’s a bug-bear of mine sure, yet I cannot abide both sales managers and prospects that fail to comprehend the true evolution (and thus value) of innovation.  I read something recently that has given me two new toys.  The first is to help explain to impatient sales managers why selling process innovation should not be viewed with instant expectations, the second, to help tell a distinguishing story to my prospects of how I came to arrive at my latest service innovation.

Accretion is a new word I’ve just learned.  It means pretty much the way in which something grows, or gets created, by way of tiny, almost imperceptible steps.  The classic example given in the thought-provoking New York Times’ article being:

Just as an oyster wraps layer upon layer of nacre atop an offending piece of sand, ultimately yielding a pearl, innovation percolates within hard work over time.” 

Innovation is best seen rather than as inspirational, blinding light quasi-ESP, instead as the culmination of a multitude of ideas that converge and collide to create a new direction.  My theory is that by explaining this ‘99% persperation, 1% inspiration’ evolution, people will both engage more readily with and also be less dismissive of your new innovation, making our success more likely.

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