Welcome to the "Innovating with Meaning" Blog!
As the co-authors of the "Innovating with Meaning" Blog, we aim to share our perspective on how we have seen the discipline or field of Innovation Management evolve over the last decade and to where we believe the field will evolve, as well as share key lessons from our international best-selling books as they relate to these topics. (As background, Dr. Alex Pattakos is the author of Prisoners of Our Thoughts, which focuses on how we can find deeper meaning in our work and everyday lives. Elaine Dundon, MBA, is author of The Seeds of Innovation, which highlights numerous Innovation examples, as well as skill development in the key areas of creativity thinking, strategic thinking, and transformational thinking, each of which is critical, i.e., a core competency, for innovative thinking.).
As you know, Innovation Management is all the rage these days. Having lead and participated in the emergence of this important field for the last decade, we have witnessed the transition from viewing Innovation as simply the commercialization of technology to a much broader perspective which encompasses Innovation in products, services, processes, and overall business and organizational strategies.
Global competition, the faster pace, and more demanding players all round have forced leaders to evaluate how they will lead and sustain Innovation. Never before has there been a greater need for strong leadership in the field of Innovation.
But we see many leaders struggling to truly lead their organization’s innovation agendas. We also see many leaders leading innovation for the sake of innovation. We see leaders embracing Innovation, then launching new products and services that really aren’t adding anything to the world or to the bottom line.
There is an overabundance of products and services from which to choose and many of these offerings are just duplications of what others are offering. Many new products and services, which are touted as innovative, don’t add any value or meaning in customers’ lives (to say nothing about the more broadly-defined "community of stakeholders"). Customers simply are not engaged.
Does the customer really want a new cherry flavor of your existing food product? Does the new food product you are offering help address the obesity problem or does it just add to the problem? Does the new paperwork system you introduced at your hospital really help simplify the process for your patients or does it just add more confusion?
Is this happening in your organization? When you review your future, say 3 year, plans, are your innovations truly innovative and will they bring deeper meaning to your customers and employees? Or are do they simply represent “lip service” to the overall trend of Innovation Management? In other words, are you truly “innovating with meaning?” We’d like very much to hear from you!