4 Insightful Innovation Articles You Need to Read Today

Filed Under Innovation

Arwen Heredia

March 26, 2014

Though we do consider ourselves to have quite a bit to say about innovation, we’re more than aware that a healthy helping of varying perspectives is one of the most effective ways to round out knowledge, develop better products and services, and inspire transformational thinking.

Here are 4 highly insightful innovation articles from around the web that we think you should read straight away.

1. When Mavericks Matter: Innovation Advocates and Your Company

Estel Masangkay is a freelance writer with thoughtful things to say on a variety of topics. The below piece, featured in Wired Insights, details why learning how to identify the “mavericks that matter” in your company is critical to organizational growth. From Wired:

“Maverick is a dangerous word in many organizations. Too often it is equated with words like rebel, heretic, eccentric, and the like. But when an organization is on a downhill slide to its graying years, with the not-so-distant threat of extinction looming ahead, fresh thinking may be just what is needed for a rebirth.
Given the colorful history of mavericks, it is surprising how many of them got past the institutional and corporate radar to bring radical changes and innovations to the world. Martin Luther was one when he challenged tradition and nailed his convictions on a door. Amelia Earhart was another when she put aside convention and soared to the sky. Steve Jobs was still another, whose name will be tied with 21st century innovation for posterity. Each one found it too crowded inside the box of conformity and decided to step out, inadvertently serving as innovation advocates for their generation.”


2. People Must Be Valued or Innovation Will Leave With Them

Professor and researcher Brent Misso who staunchly believes in the human catalysts behind innovation. In this article, he demonstrates why shifting focus towards a ‘broader, more human-centered framework for innovation’ can help companies leverage personnel for success even after they’ve moved on from the organization. From Entrepreneur:

“Innovators do not view their endeavors as a means to stock options, a promotion or retirement package. It is the vision, the big lightbulb, as well as a sense of integrity and self-respect, that entrepreneurs strive for each day.

While it should be obvious that human talent is the most important ingredient for true innovation, many organizations struggle with and cannot seem to shake a business outlook that views people as interchangeable parts or as mere job descriptions. As organizations dance around and debate the issue of how employees should be esteemed and treated, few innovative souls will suffer waiting for someone to appreciate their value.”


3. Flux: New Rules For Innovation And Growth

In this piece by cultural intelligence analyst Mary Meehan, she suggests that the real answer to modern innovation woes is to change the general focus of market research and innovation. Rather than trying to simplify existing issues, she believes there is more power in driving to understand the overall complexity of whatever problems companies are trying to solve. From Forbes:

“It wasn’t that long ago when the process of innovating was much more straightforward. Research was research. But as marketers have tried harder and harder to see the world in fresh ways and uncover deeper insights about their potential consumers, new ways of doing research came into vogue. Qualitative research got shinier. Trends got trendy. Less than a decade ago, social media appeared on the horizon as a new and “perfect” way to get inside people’s real lives, and figure out what they truly wanted. Soon after, the Big Data drumbeat scared everyone into thinking it was the only way to win the future.

Still, even with all this fresh thinking about how to measure consumers’ appetites, the innovation failure rate plagued marketers. And while new technologies and mountains of data are an important research element, and clearly here to stay, they offer only a single perspective on who consumers are.”


4. The Paradox of Common Sense in Innovation

Speaker, author, and strategic advisor Stefan Lindegaard has far more to say about innovation — and its endless subtopics — than most people who weave the word into their daily conversations. From developing global perspectives on open innovation to culture issues and the power of crowdsourcing, Lindegaard certainly has the in-depth experience to be called a verifiable innovation thought leader. In this piece, he digs into why it’s apparently so difficult for major organizations to adopt disruptive strategies, despite going on the books that they’re in favor of them. From InnoCentive:

“Why do companies – or rather people in the companies – miss out on obvious things so often? Why can’t they implement the initiatives or take the actions that seem to be common sense to so many people and especially those from outside the company? This goes with business management in general and in innovation management in particular.
I had a good discussion on this topic as a follow-up to my recent blog post, 5 Steps for a Better Innovation Culture through Experimentation and Failure. Here, Graham Duncan was tempted to label my suggestions as common sense, but he got to wonder why it seems that organizations find it so difficult to adopt them.”