“I don’t want innovation,” said no business… ever. Everyone wants it because innovation means growth, market share, sustainable profit, more valuable brand equity; in other words, life.
It’s the botox of the business world. Some companies slowly tweak here and there for maintenance staying mostly in the safety of original products & services. Others go BIG with major pivots to the point where they become unrecognizable from the original entity.
Just like face fillers, companies have various options open to them on the path to innovation. We prefer using a bespoke, customized version of the Design Thinking process mainly because we’ve tried it a thousand different ways and it works, but there are many different options available. Regardless of which way you go, keep in mind all methods are tools to foster innovation. They don’t guarantee anything.
You can start with Design Thinking, morph it into something else, mash it with another method, and make your own cocktail that works for your business. It’s all OK. It’s all good. The goal is to be on the path to systemic innovation.
And, that’s really the key to business longevity: Systemic innovation.
To be “innovative,” systemic innovation must be ingrained in your company culture. It’s an iterative, repeatable process practiced by all people connected to the business on a daily basis. It changes your DNA. And, unless you establish this practice in your business, you better pray your founder is either Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or Jesus. (Clearly, there must be a J in the name at least).
We use Design Thinking to jumpstart companies on the path to systemic innovation. The method offers a path to get there – not because it’s the holy grail that guarantees innovation – but, because its exercises and tools alter the way your team thinks about business challenges, as well as how they experience failure.
That type of thinking – when exponentially multiplied throughout the organization – produces organic systemic innovation.
*Photo by Matthew Ronder-Seid