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The life blood of any business, start-up, large or small. Few can do it, many try.

Some think entrepreneurs make great innovators. A few excel however most fail.

Do patents represents innovation? Not really. While a great way to protect intellectual property and are misused as a metric, they often miss the mark.

So what is innovation? From the 50,000 ft level it is often game changing, disruptive, clever and different. Many companies think they are innovating when in fact they are only doing incremental changes. True innovation is unique. It takes 100’s to 1,000’s of ideas to find innovation. You can’t hit the home run on just one good idea, which is where many fail. Innovation must be nurtured much like a young seedling. Innovation can come in many forms and is typically different each time. That makes it difficult to replicate which is a good thing when you find it.

Do your customers know innovation, probably not. What they do know is unmet needs in some cases and in others they don’t.

You need an Innovation process as part of a healthy pipeline in any company. Often it is best to bring in outsiders as they aren’t steeped in the culture of a company.

Walko Consulting has many years of experience in building and maintaining front end processes to keep your innovation pipeline healthy and functioning.