The term innovation is today both overused, and all too often misused. It's regularly confused with invention and it's sometimes assumed that it is concerned only with what is ground-breaking. Neither are true.
Innovation is a process through which products, services and experiences that were not previously imagined, and which create value, are delivered.
Mention innovation to most people and, invariably, their thoughts will turn first, if not be solely confined, to the product offering, and perhaps the product platform. Yet opportunities for innovation exist 'backstage', within an organisations' business model design, right through to 'front of house', where customers' interact with brands and experience their products.
The advent of each new wave of digital technology presents further opportunity to re-imagine each of these and capture more value for both your organisation and your customers. And, in today's disruptive and ultra-competitive markets, it important to focus not only on what your customer's really value, but on how you can deliver that in a sustainable and defensible way.The design of new products and services, introducing new features, enhanced functionality and complementary products and services to bolster your product platform should be a core competency. Conceiving and executing the 'simpler' types of product innovation should be business as usual to high performing organisations.
Many of the most successful organisations that have risen to prominence in the mew millennium have done so by thoroughly re-examining long established business models and exceeding customer expectations, very often by harnessing emerging digital technologies.
If you can employ innovation within each of the broad categories of business design, product offering and customer experience, you may well deliver something truly ground-breaking.