Incremental and Continuous Improvement Isn’t The Path To Innovation


Business journals, seminars and conversations around the coffee pot are filled with experts spouting the benefits of continuous improvement… taking small incremental steps to improve a product or service. It’s fine and good to improve things… everyone wants to make things better. But true innovation is much more than that!

Innovation is based on a future perspective. It involves looking forward to a new future… a new outcome… maybe involving something that’s never existed before. Apple’s creation of the iPod wasn’t a better Walkman. It was a completely new way of experiencing music. It changed the users behaviors and it changed the entire music industry.

True innovation is about seeing things differently… looking at things in entirely new ways… inventing, imagining, creating.

It is creativity on purpose. And, once an inventive new idea is perceived, true innovation requires us to pull the present to this future vision. Innovation is a process that can be purposeful and can change everything.

If you’re focused only on incremental improvement of an existing or past idea the future is likely to be short! After all, Edison didn’t invent the light bulb by making a better and better candle.



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