Do you cringe when someone says innovation? Does innovation feel too audacious? Does innovation seem too big, too polished or too techie? What if innovation just means any little change that benefits members or adding new things that provide more value for members? New product development is a less awe-inspiring term but it misses out on the great value that can be added with a change of strategy or marketing. Innovation is a word we are stuck with but the idea behind innovation is important. It is about constantly making changes, some small and maybe a few large changes, that help the organization continue to meet members’ new needs.
Is your association starting to talk about innovation? Here are three articles to get you started.
The 3 myths of association innovation
We hold myths around the word and the idea of innovation and these myths get us stuck. They keep us from moving ahead. Perhaps these myths unconsciously force us to maintain the status quo. But when we articulate them we then have power over them. The 3 myths of association innovation are ….
Developing a culture of innovation
There seems to be a cycle. New organizations go through tremendous levels of innovation as they figure out the formula to success. At some point all the hard work pays off when the staff finds some combination of value that works for them and their customers. From that point forward they continue to offer the same combination until it inexplicably seems to stop working. The culture of the status quo is not the same as a culture of innovation. If your organization needs to innovate you need to develop a culture of innovation (guest post on Jamie Notter’s blog).
Why innovation is a craft
Perpetually innovative organizations practice innovation. They have a process, a mindset and a schedule that keeps innovation at the top of the priority list. It is much harder to do episodic innovation. Professionals find it very difficult to dust off the innovation process when they need it.
The other part of the idea of innovation as a practice is it doesn’t have to be big. There’s no need to place all your bets on one horse. Whose to say the spark of an innovation doesn’t come from something as humble as a single tweet. We understand that many endeavors in life take time and practice. The same with innovation; innovation is a craft.
Bonus cartoon: how fear kills innovation.