Innovation and creativity – why?

It’s easy to see innovation and creativity as pleasurable things that companies may choose or not. But what is the real reason for companies to work with innovation? Why do companies need to be creative?

I would say that innovation, as it’s discussed today, is about development of (new) competitive advantages. Reasons for people to choose your product, service or offering instead of someone else’s, or nothing at all. It can also be about finding new and better ways for you to maintain that level of quality, at a reasonable cost. And that is what every company, which has (or can expect to get) the least competition, needs to do in order to survive.

It is not about ingenuity, novelty and reassessment in itself. But as there are so many perspectives and ways to be innovative, creative approaches and methods are necessary. As well as creative teams of mixed competencies! As the world has lost its predictability, as consumers have become more aware and informed, as competition nowadays comes from all directions, it is no more possible to rely on small improvements. Sometimes really small changes, or even maintaining elements as they are, is the best solution – but the process towards that decision must be open and exploring, not taking status quo for granted. In every aspect of the customers experience there is a hidden potential for finding competitive advantages.

I embrace the increasing interest in innovation and creativity, but as always I think one should keep an eye on its purpose!

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