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Continuous Innovation: The Real Key to an Innovative Organisation

Continuous innovation is a focus on gradual improvement, it consists of smaller and more frequent innovations delivering continual benefits. Many people associate the term ‘innovation’ with game-changing disruption but that is actually the exception rather than the rule. A disruptive innovation that transforms an industry with a dramatic pivot, new services, creative business/service models and global scale does not come along every day.

While continuous innovation is much more gradual, it is much more reliable at delivering small gains, which continue to advance the company year in year out. By focusing on continuous innovation over big disruptive innovations companies can:

  • Strengthen the organisations’ Innovation Muscles
  • Continually deliver improvement
  • Build momentum towards larger innovations – potentially disruptive innovations.

To establish the right culture for continuous innovation you need to develop the right innovative leadership. The authors state these leaders must understand:

  • How to establish clear goals for innovation that are ambitious but also achievable.
  • That Innovation requires a team effort
  • You cannot innovate in a silo, the best innovations come when teams effectively collaborate across silos to identify multiple innovative possibilities.
  • How to balance tension between innovative improvement goals and effectively managing the day to day business.

“Theories come and go. Fantastic glory comes infrequently and quickly fades. What remains a constant is the importance and value of great leadership. Great leadership is what sustains continuous innovation, which will help win the game.”

Center for Creative Leadership
Synopsis of an article from Center for Creative Leadership
Published 24th August 2020

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