Since the world turned upside-down in March, we have all encountered a tremendous amount of change. In my viewpoint, a lot of the changes in society have been negative and I suspect the politicians in charge are finding it difficult to extricate themselves from the mess they made. One change we have seen from the corona-panic is, of course, limited contact with other people.
Limited contact and limits on group gatherings has had a weird impact on my casual acquaintances. I used to go swimming at an indoor pool and would arrive, jump in, swim laps, shower, and head home. Once in a great while, I would exchange a few words about the weather or temperature of the water with another lady in the locker room.
Now, I am swimming in an outdoor pool. We all must make paid reservations in advance and can swim for only 45 minutes. What is unusual, though, is that all of us chat with each other. We are gathered together, outside the building, following all the random spacing and inane mask rules, waiting for the allotted time. Most of us prefer swimming longer than 45 minutes, so we all get kicked out at the same time. Again, we chat as we head home across the parking lot. Overzealous government regulations have led to me getting know people I would not have otherwise met.
On Monday, for example, David asked why I was even at the pool. He knows my schedule is to swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I explained I had a meeting on Tuesday, and then the resident swim coach asked what I do. “I’m an innovation management consultant and coach,” I replied. He looked at me questioningly. “Innovation is making something new?”
Innovation is Making Something New
The word innovation has been overused a lot (see an earlier post on Authentic Innovation here). In short, innovation does mean making something new. It might be a new product or service. It might be a new technology or introducing an existing product into a new market. We might create a new business model, or we might find new ways to manufacture a product.
So, innovation management means planning and implementing those things that are new. My goal is to help others – individuals and companies – find effective and efficient ways to make new things. The ultimate goal is to improve speed-to-market and increase profits.
Innovation Change for Customers
We know we are “winning” at innovation when we make money and our customers are satisfied. Change can be easy, or change can be difficult. Sometimes change creates new opportunities – like my newfound friends at the swimming pool.
What change is your business facing right now? We all know that the corona-panic has disrupted supply chains and availability of retail goods. But I want you to be specific. Describe exactly what change your business faces today, in one month, and for year-end.
If your changes relate to sales, you may simply have to wait it out. But if the changes you face are structural and institutional you need to find an innovative solution. This means polling your customers to understand their real needs and problems.
Talk to Me
As an innovation management consultant, I want to know what changes you are facing. Please post in the comments or email me at email@example.com to describe your greatest innovation challenge emerging from the corona-triggered economic downturn. Everyone who responds is entered into a random drawing for a free NPDP certification exam question set (a $125 value). We will draw on 21 August 2020 and announce the winner on 25 August.
See you at the pool!
- Check out where I’m speaking next (click here).
- Get your copy of The Innovation ANSWER Book available at Amazon (now available on Kindle).
- Reference the new PDMA Body of Knowledge, available at Amazon.
- Do you know your strategy? Is it time to narrow your focus or expand to serve more customers? Join me for the two-part Reset Your Strategy workshop on 18 and 20 August. Register here – special discounts for the unemployed.
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I am inspired by writing, teaching, and speaking at great professional events. I tackle life with an infusion of rigor, zeal, and faith. It brings me joy to help you build innovation leaders. Teresa Jurgens-Kowal is an experienced innovation professional with a passion for lifelong learning with a PhD in Chemical Engineering and an MBA in Computer and Information Decision Making. My credentials include PE (State of Louisiana), NPDP, PMP®, and CPEM, and I am a DiSC® certified facilitator. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or area code 281 + phone 787-3979 for more information on coaching for entrepreneurs and innovators.