Whether you’re on the bleeding edge or just starting out, innovation is a complex and everchanging thing ??
Today, you’ll hear from the team on what innovation is, how to foster it, and why it’s important to innovate.
What is Innovation?
Dan: I think innovation is intentional evolution. It’s change, right. It’s growth. It’s an evolving process.
David: You’re creating new ideas or you’re taking the way something is done now and changing it completely.
Chris: If you’re a big business that may be rethinking an existing process that you’ve had around for years.
It could also be a brand new idea; I think those are more rare. We’ve done a number of those here at Slingshot where somebody comes in with something that really just hasn’t been done before.
How do you foster Innovation?
David: It’s easy to say “we’re gonna invite new ideas. We’re gonna talk about ’em.” But then I think the first thing that happens when you want to try ’em, there’s a whole lot of [pushback]: “well, this is too risky. This is too far out of how we do things now. It’s too radical.” And then the idea dies there.
To foster innovation, you have to be that company. You have to realize that you’re gonna have a lot of failure; you’re gonna screw up a lot of times before you get it right. I mean, you might try a new idea, or try six new ideas, and all six are bad. And then the seventh idea you try might be a home run.
Dan: I think you allow creativity, create catalysts for creativity.
You have to enable people. You have to hire people that are very forward thinking: ‘what can be;’ they’re not necessarily trapped into ‘what is.’ I think you have to support people through change. I think you have to address fear of change.
Chris: Probably the most important thing though, is just listening, you know, being open minded. Actually even having conversations with your customers, your future customers, getting their perspective on things. I think that’s really important.
What do you need to know about Innovation?
Dan: The best part about innovation is that anyone can do it. I think it’s really looking at the way something is, and then understanding that it could be done differently, and then finding reasons to justify why that way could be successful.
Chris: Being innovative to me is just always being open minded, always thinking, you know: “there’s probably a better way of doing this out there. I may not know it right now, but I’m gonna go find it.”
David: Most people who are truly being innovative have failed several times. They’ve gone through a lot of pain to finally get the, uh, the big reward at the end.
Why is Innovation important in Business?
Chris: Most important thing is just, uh, competitive: being competitive in the market. If you aren’t plugged in and being innovative, you’re eventually gonna lose your ground, to your competition.
David: If you’re not innovating, if you’re not rethinking how you’re doing things, you’re not challenging yourself to be better, somebody else is. And it may be too late by the time you realize that.
Dan: It’s evolution. If innovation doesn’t happen, we’re all still riding horses, right?
People who innovate, people who create new things, are on the cusp of creation. Like they’re taking things that don’t exist and they’re bringing them to life. And I think that for us as a people, you know technology supports everything that we do, Right? And so that technology is a business, and you have to continue to evolve. Much like the technology continues to evolve, which allows for human beings to continue to evolve.