Innovation on my mind

“In order to fix it, you need a passionate anger about something that doesn’t work well.”                    James Dyson

Some time ago I visited the Museum of Technology in Stockholm with my family. imageThe children are always so fascinated about the new and old things found in the museum. As we walked through the museum for a while, my seven-year-old points at the baby carriages and says: “Mom, most things look almost the same, only they have been given a new look with a new material. Just look at those prams.”

imageIn that moment I stopped and looked around me with new eyes. What the seven-year-old child said is actually true. The revolutionary inventions are the same; they have just been developed and adapted to the new and modern society. Things such as the light bulb, camera, pram and bike haven’t been developed into new revolutionary technology. Though the performance, comfort and appearance have changed a lot.

Already existing technology has just been a little bit modernized. Recognize the expression that it costs twice as much to acquire a new customer than to maintain an existingcustomer? Make the most of what we already have and what is within reach – pick the low hanging fruit first!

imageA usual mistake is not seeing opportunities, like ideas of new operation modes, process improvements, a new product/service without ordering a prototype etc. From trial and error, the whole organization learns to see possibilities.

Through the trial and error process organizations learn to become aware of their innovation capabilities within the company. The benefit for the company is that they don’t have to dedicate resources for creativity, since this is included in the daily operations. If the management team contributes by being visible, accessible and perceptive of the whole business, a tremendous competitiveness in the market could be achieved. This is what two of the world’s most influential business leaders say;

“Either you innovate or you’re in commodity hell. If you do what everyone else does, you have a low-margin business. That’s not where you want to be.”  – Sam Palmisano, ex-CEO at IBM

“Managing innovation better may be the only way out of the abyss called commodity hell”  – Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO at General Electric


  1. Hi Leyla,
    Insightful article, txs v much. And, from the eyes of a 7-year-old child … maybe there are bigger lessons within this … that we’ve forgotten to look at life, unhindered, unfettered by “adult” things such as “bonds”, etc.
    Children (physically or figuratively) see things in their pure form, in their real form; to quote Jim Collins, they “Face the Brutal Reality” of … what is.
    I’m a “PC” stalwart but, I can’t help but relate this article to Steve Jobs. Apple never “invented” anything new. No … they merely looked at the market — really looked at the market — and, made it better. For consumers. They merely, yes, focused on maximising value in the way people interacted with previous inventions. Very clever. And, they continue to do so, viz. the new iPhone “5”. And, “6” is already breaking new ground with what it’s going to be providing even though it’s not yet launched!
    A lovely day / w/end to you!

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