Building a consensus for an unambiguous and easy to understand definition of innovation has not yet been possible. We mean the systematic practice of innovation, applied to the market and business in which the company operates and competes, under the premise of consolidating their differentiation and adding value to its customers, employees and shareholders.
Widely known are the words from Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. This is the essence of innovation.
In the business world there is much talk about the importance of being different in the market, hence the need to manage innovation as a key differentiator in building a sustainable competitive advantage over time. However, a small proportion of company leaders have chosen the promotion of a Culture of Innovation as the top priority of their strategic agendas.
The company – immersed in a fast changing business scenario, volatile and unpredictable – must develop processes of continuous improvement and incremental innovation to enable the creation of new products and services in order to add differential value to its market offer.
Many business leaders of traditional companies, taking refuge in the sacred values of their organizational cultures, seem to ignore the need to develop a genuine culture of innovation. Too often they stubbornly insist on a rigid set of policies, standards and static processes (frequently obsolete) that inhibit the agility and flexibility that the company should deploy in times of crisis. Underestimating the accelerated dynamics of change that affects the business ecosystem nowadays, this attitude seems like a bet on the decline of their business. Naively clinging to their share of power and protecting their areas of influence – as if the environment were the same as in those good old days – they are reluctant to embark on a necessary organizational transformation that the company needs to remain competitive and ensure its future viability.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we possess virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ” Aristotle
How can we make innovation a habit in our organization and thus achieve excellence?