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The true nature of innovation: from challenges to opportunities

The last year  has been the most challenging in our company’s short history. No time has taught us the true value of innovation like this. Our outlook has always been turning challenges to opportunities. I will tell you a story of antifragility and innovation and tell you what learning we have accumulated on the key components of innovation.

With the festive season over we returned to work rejuvenated and ready to make an impact. Our biggest problem was cash flow and the generation of new leads. While we were thinking about what New Year’s message to send to our clients, we thought about our value system, and decided the best thing to do was to focus on delivering value to our stakeholders. This is when we developed the 2014 Vision Project. The results where amazing, and very telling of the true nature of innovation. Not only did our clients appreciate the gesture, it also helped them shape their visions for the year. The clients were so overwhelmed by the gesture they all suggested increasing their current business or entering into new projects with us.

It lead us to the understanding that innovation in a team requires 8 key components:

  1. Motivation – You have to want it. Without a real reason to do what you’re are doing it is near impossible to drive a team to meaningful results.
  2. Insight – Not just knowledge, but insight, a revelation of some sort. Few great innovations have been without one.
  3. Confidence – Your team must believe in themselves and their ability to do the exceptional.
  4. Creativity – The mental ability to create something. Your team must explore what can be and not just what is.
  5. Skill – Ability will determine the quality of your execution. Make sure you have the right mix of skills.
  6. Fun – Your team must enjoy what they are doing. Without this it is difficult to get the inspired environment required for breakthroughs to happen.
  7. Service – You must be of service to someone. Do not innovate to appease your own egos. Do it for somebody else, after all they will adopt, purchase or support your innovation. That is the true nature of innovation.
  8. Diversity – A respect for different approaches, backgrounds and views is fundamental to getting novel ideas throughout the process.

Innovation is not a specific action, but rather a culture that you cultivate over time. Any industry or group, regardless of function or purpose, must think about how they are solving problems. Here at Bamboo we pride ourselves in being an innovation ecosystem, constantly innovating for success. That is our true strength and if you follow the 8 key components I’m quite sure you will start to see the same results in your organisation. And realise for yourself the true nature of innovation.

Image reference: http://www.duskyswondersite.com/human-ingenuity-category/street-art-3/

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