STRATEGIC INNOVATION: from the production of ideas to the generation of value

We all have referents to follow. In High Speed Solutions we like to read what sites such as Fast Company publish; their articles, their point of view, their way of reflecting what is happening today in the world of technology, entertainment, leadership, creativity and innovation. So a few weeks ago we took off for New York City to attend the Fast Company Innovation Festival (1) to find out what is being done and said regarding these topics at an international level.

Our first impression was that we are at the most progressive level of thinking when it comes to innovation. And though it may sound pretentious, it is simple…we never stop questioning our own prejudice and preconceptions regarding these topics. We never stop reflecting in order to change and evolve. And after hearing what was said there, we want to put what we think about this topic on the table, a topic that we are passionate about:

  1. Innovation is not only about launching something new. We have discussed time and again the erroneous idea that to innovate is to launch a new product or service, but it looks like it still isn´t clear (in a world where start-upism is the new rule, it is easy to fall into this perception) Innovation is more a matter of constant and flexible processes in all areas that lead us to change the way we do things. That is what really triggers much more powerful innovation processes than those based only on launches. How to establish different metrics, how to wager different campaigns, how to create different internal processes, how to execute different leadership. When we see how businesses were managed in 2017, the focus was still based on sales objectives. What if an innovation quota was established in the company objectives as well? It´s not that sales are not important, but if we don´t ask ourselves how we can adapt to such a changing environment, to such multifaceted consumers and to chameleon-like competition from our mindset and processes; rising to this century´s challenge looks very complicated.
  2. Innovation is not a matter of early adopters. The natural bias of someone who works in trends is to see the latest of the latest, but something that we have forgotten is to understand how this process is followed from the moment we identify it until it is installed. There are many trends that we get rid of because they don´t sound so new to us: “the hyper-fragmentation, “the cocooning”, “the experience as a priority”, “the e -commerce”. These are things that we have been seeing in trend documents for the last 10 years or more, but this doesn´t mean that they have lost relevance, on the contrary, it means that many of them are ONLY JUST beginning their installation at massive levels. It is key to start discussing the time it takes an innovation to mature; to follow its evolution and even reach the point of predicting its behavior over time.
  3. Innovation is not separated from “socially sustainable”. There are a thousand preconceptions to the effect of business and altruism being mutually exclusive. Let´s take the following as an example: if we take a dive into the minds of the Millennials we see a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of frustration: I want a better world but you can´t live off that. On the other hand the Z generation (those born after 2000) are an example of how this idea can be reconciled (2): Work is the monetization of doing what I like to do. It´s time for companies to think more like Gen Z than  Millennials and to consider that doing good today acquires relevancy in business: to have a purpose, social responsibilities, transparency, altruistic initiatives, the B corporations (3). In general the business can and should have win win results, economically as well as in terms of social consciousness. First by understanding how to add altruism to the business and afterwards profiting from the social aspect. Nowadays, if there is no sustainability, there is no business growth, it is that easy.
  4. Innovation is not separated from creativity but sometimes it is separated from On occasions innovation is misunderstood; nearer to a closed methodology or a platform than to an opening to change. A big part of really disruptive innovation goes hand in hand with creativity: the only place where automation and robotics will not be able to go. It is because of this that the concept of creative capital is regaining importance in companies; it is foreseen that eventually the level of creative capital will even be the way that businesses are measured. Those who do not encourage creativity in their philosophy, processes, products and services will be left out.

And if you were left wanting more (because there were many more ideas that the Festival triggered for us), stay tuned! Because we are preparing an inspiring document on what happened in 2017 and what we are expecting in 2018. You already know that in High Speed we love to share what we learn, but above all we like to think about that future where innovation can lead us.