Simon Sinek in Start With Why says innovation is revolutionary. It changes industries, changes the way we do things. According to Sinek, innovation is a BIG DEAL. He is right. And he is wrong.
Innovation is a big deal about 2 percent of the time. 98 percent of the time though, innovation goes unnoticed by most of the world. Most innovations are small, simple ideas that by themselves, don’t make a big difference.
Ironically, most big innovations would not exist if it weren’t for small innovations that came first. The iPhone changed the cell phone world by combining many innovations, some small and some big. Without the touch screen, the MP3 player, the camera, the iTunes store and a dozen other innovations, we might all still be using flip phones.*
Many companies fail to innovate because they are hung up on the idea that all innovation has to be big. The companies that are most successful are the companies that innovate all the time, using the small ideas as building blocks and learning exercises, or both.
If you are always on the hunt for a better solution to your customer’s problems, you will always be working to innovate. The more problems you solve, the more innovative you will become.
Bottom line: Innovation is as much an attitude and a philosophy as anything. The companies that understand this basic principle are the companies that innovate every single day. Now THAT is a big deal.
*Don’t discount the marketing that when combined with the innovation, helped make the iPhone a “must have” device.