- Written by
John P. Benfield
- Posted January 26, 2009 at 11:07 pm
Business Innovations – Where do they come from?
Do innovations come from consumers as a demand or generated from within the company?
Surely a both, but I want to hear your opinion.
How important is it to know if an innovation is push or pull?
Consultant ? Marketing Strategist ? Venture Advisor
Innovation can come from any source. So it’s important to be listening and positioned to act when an opportunity arises.
Most often, an innovation will come from someone not accepting the status quo and, instead, finding an alternative solution. So it also helps to encourage rather than discourage the typical “trouble makers” and try to funnel the energy and discontent into coming up with solutions or alternatives. Problem customers, employees and vendors are usually experiencing something that they perceive as an issue with you or your company. Open feedback can often lead to innovation. If anyone has ever said “that’s really dumb”, you have a performance improvement opportunity.
Mistakes and errors are another great source for innovation ideas. Even when it’s human error, there’s often an opportunity to improve a process or even find a radically new (and hopefully, better) way of doing things.
As for identifying push or pull innovations, the main benefit of identifying a pull is that you have an opportunity to capitalize on the fact that you listen and respond to your customers and/or partners. It’s a great PR opportunity and encourages additional feedback from outside. Pulls also tend to have a more direct impact on your sales, marketing and customer loyalty. Innovation from within has a greater impact on employee morale and internal efficiencies, but may never translate to any customer impact. So, I beleive that the distinction is an important one but that they’re both valuable sources to develop.
Just my opinion, of course.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca