ilus-post-15feb2016

Innovate to Take Off

No one would dare deny that the way we communicate, consume and do business is changing at an astonishing pace, but, surprisingly, many organizations seem not to have yet realized these transformations. Unfortunately for them, this error can be quite costly and they may be accountable for it sooner than expected.

Faced with this undeniable fact, we have to rethink our competitive strategy for tomorrow as a whole. And we can say without fear of contradiction, that the main pillars should be creativity, innovation and design, because —as we have mentioned on other occasions— many of our strategies and problem-solving techniques are proving to be obsolete in the light of new market requirements.

Having said this, we would like to focus on this point and offer some considerations on how to address the innovation process, since, frequently, the success of a project is undermined by inaccuracies at the approach and implementation levels.

Chiefly, we believe it is important to note that both inspiration and uniqueness must be at the root of every innovative idea. Without inspiration, there can not be any real innovation, just a collection of repeated and inefficient formulas that do not focus on the core challenge in value creation but rather on cosmetic or anxiety issues, which eventually end up flooding the market with disposable proposals that lack real value. This does not mean that tested processes, perfected through practice and repetition do not exist, but they are far from being canned, “one-size-fits-all”, alternatives.

Indeed, in order to arrive at a truly innovative solution, the answer is authenticity and commitment to the project, to really think about the function of the product-service and its end user, aiming to free the design from all conformity, aestheticism or the superficial requirements of corporate bureaucracy. In the words of Tomás Maldonado: “if you want to paint go to Paris, here we do this”, hotly arguing with Gui Bonsiepe while hitting a black bakelite telephone against his desk at the Ulm School of Design. The main problem has to be addressed through design thinking, without any distractions.

Design and innovation operate synergistically to create a kind of value of the highest quality and differentiation capabilities, that flows from its very essence, and it is the reality of the market itself that is giving us tangible evidence of this phenomenon, so much so, that in the past years we are seeing the most innovative, user-centered companies soar, while those that keep repeating automatic models from the past fade away inexorably.

The importance of investing in innovation and design, and including them as main topics on every company’s agenda, is becoming manifest and will be the key to success in the economy of the future.

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