Understanding the Value of Useful Novelty
Innovation is different because it's the only form of value that happens in the future for which we have no real data.
Jeff DeGraff is a world renowned thought leader, executive and innovation expert. His expertise has been shared globally at top innovation incubators and think tanks such as the Aspen Institute and with companies that include Eaton, GM, SPX, 3M, Apple, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, GE, Johnson & Johnson, LG, Pfizer, and Toyota. DeGraff has contributed his expert knowledge in publications such as Business Week, CIO, Fortune, USA Today, Training+Development and the Wall Street Journal. Jeff is focused on how to lead Innovation; developing the culture, capabilities, and collaborative connections that result in revenue and market growth.
With over twenty-five years of corporate leadership experience and as Clinical Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, Jeff is the 'guru to the innovation gurus' at Fortune 500 companies His advice is frequently in demand from the investment community on how to pick, manage and harvest winning ideas and business enterprises.
DeGraff offers his personal experience as a former business executive from one of the fastest growing companies in America, the credibility of being a published author and an expert resource for the media. Jeff is the Executive Director of the Innovatrium Institute for Innovation, an idea lab; Managing Partner of the Competing Values Company, a top innovation consulting firm where he is also the co-creator of the Competing Values methodology that integrates innovation with finance, strategy, management, and leadership into a robust business model that boosts the bottom-line.
What is innovation and how is innovation different from all other forms of value? Well that's the big question. There are lots of definitions for innovation, but I think the simplest one is innovation is anything that makes any product, any service or any experience better or new, better or new.
Useful novelty is the key to innovation and how innovation is different from everything else is really in three parts. Number one, innovation is different because it's the only form of value that happens in the future for which we have no real data.
The great irony is what people do when they don't know what's going to happen next is they collect excessive data, which stops them from acting, so it's a great form of resistance. Innovation happens in the future.
Number two; innovation has a shelf life. It goes sour like milk. Innovation is only an innovation for a very short period of time. And then finally, innovations happen in cycles and that is when something is an innovative product or a service or solution or an experience. It's only that for a period of time before it slides off and becomes a commodity and the cycle begins again.
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