Much of the current conversation about innovation is heavily skewed to that delivered through the application of new and scalable digital technologies. Whilst this captures the headlines, it is but one of three distinct strategic approaches to innovation:
This third path involves taking an interpretive approach to innovation that is native to the design industries, but remained shrouded in mystique to industry outsiders until Roberto Verghanti published his widely acclaimed book 'Design Driven Innovation' in 2009.
The creative industries thrive through their understanding of what people could want; through their ability to realise radical innovation in meanings through identifying and leveraging emerging cultural paradigms.
The interpretive process requires close collaboration with a highly selective cohort of talented individuals across a diversity of disciplines and industries. These networks are often many years in the making, the relationships that underpin them the result of heavy investment, and their quality dependent on the reputation of all parties involved.
Quite distinct from unbounded 'open innovation', design driven innovation requires organisations to develop a finely tuned external focus that considers and understands with whom they might derive valuable interactions, how they might attract those individuals and organisations to collaborate within their ecosystem; and what form the interaction should take.