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racing to innovate

On Your Marks, Get Set, Innovate! But Get on the Right Starting Line First

“On your marks, get set, innovate!” appears to have become the rallying cry around the world as company’s rush to reinvent themselves with a renewed energy to not become the next Blockbuster or Kodak. While I really appreciate this sense of urgency, I have to admit to being a bit cynical as I see very smart people running in a direction or down a path without first checking if they are even at the right starting line or in the correct racing venue.

All the words and doctrine sound great: “We must develop fast and fail even faster so we can refine and perfect our new solution with the lowest risk to the corporate bottom line!” or my personal favorite “We are outsourcing our innovation to subcontractors and programmers so they won’t be encumbered by our corporate red tape and close-minded thinking.”

I believe it is time to hit the pause button, head back to the board rooms and first assess our strategy as a company. “We need to become more innovative” is not a strategy as much as it is a desired outcome.