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A Metaphor for Innovation

Innovation, implementation, and ideas are words that keep popping up in conversations, events, media, and in boardroom meetings. We all understand that it is these three words  which will be the future and restoration of the economy. However, first we need to understand their meaning and the role that they play. THECUBE has chosen a simple metaphor to articulate our interpretation. Imagine that innovation is getting from Florida to California, idea is the vehicle (one has to valuate which is best for the ride, you wouldn’t want to make the journey in a beat up car) and creativity is the fuel (fuel that is composed of imagination, empathy and observation). The map in front of you is the equivalent of the implementation strategy, guiding you along the terrain and allowing you to see all the possibilities. Every single stage of this metaphor is important. Choosing your destination is crucial or you could be taking your idea in the wrong direction. Choosing the vehicle is important; what idea do you take forward? Observe what idea fits within the market your are trying to create or reach. Then there is the fuel. You want to put in high performing octane fuel, which means your creativity has to be of good quality. This comes from observation, empathy, and imagination. Ask questions instead of jumping to answers, for example: what is happening socially? What type of services do people want? What are the dynamics, needs, and wants of the local community?  Last you have the map, which is your implementation strategy. We like the metaphor of a map as you are able to see the options of any direction. From our research and observation we have concluded that the most common mistake in implementation is keeping an inflexible tunneled vision. CEO’s, entrepreneurs, creative directors, design graduates, you name it – we are all been guilty of creating inflexible strategies that do not allow the idea to change and evolve as it needs to. What if your market changes? Or you observed the wrong traits in your target market? If you just keep moving forward you will end up with a badly implemented idea. We cannot stress enough how important it is to observe at every stage to make sure that you are heading in the right direction. We can only reach innovation when our idea has been implemented successfully and created economy, otherwise it is just an idea.