by Hari Kumar
There’s a lot of hype around innovation: It can turnaround businesses. It differentiates you from your competitors. It is present inside everyone…Blah. Blah. Blah. The constant, all-pervasive, repetitive jargon around the word “innovation” has taken it to a point of banality. Ah, what a paradox!
Renowned market leaders like Intel, Siemens, Motorola, Apple, Google, Sony, General Electric, and so forth have always been ahead of their times. Just consider the fact that the average number of patents filed in America is around 23,000. If one was to identify a common trait among these innovative organizations, it is the use of technology.
Successful organizations are never scared of toying with new ideas, thinking the unthinkable, and bringing to reality what looks too forward-thinking to be true. Much like we are fascinated today by sci-fi movies that show people conjuring computer screens out of thin air, who could have thought that some 20 years ago that touch screens would be common place today?
Bottom line: Constant innovation is inevitable to withstanding competition. An organization that ceases to innovate will quickly lose out sales and market share. For example, consider the story of Kodak: After enjoying unrivalled position in the film-based business for several years, the industry leader lost out to the digital photography revolution (a technology that Kodak actually invented in 1975) simply because it was too complacent to change.