Innovation is basically the introduction of something new. If we didn’t have innovation, there would never be anything new, and without anything new, there would never be any progress. Innovation is therefore crucial. Not only in business, but in life in general. In order to counter the challenges of today and tomorrow, new ideas and new ways of thinking is a must.

What is innovation?

When asked what innovation is, a lot of people will say new technology, new devices or new products. But innovation is much more than that. Innovation is also new ideas, new methods and new ways to do things.
By definition, innovation is the introduction of something new or different. One may say that innovation is the result of creativity combined with work, as creativity in itself doesn’t produce innovation. Therefore, being innovative is having the ability to harness creative abilities.

The effects of innovation

Innovation has a lot of positive effects on both business and society as a whole.

Innovation in business

For businesses and organizations, innovation is vital. It provides companies with an edge in penetrating new markets, differentiate from competition and can help increase efficiency and reduce costs.
The world is constantly changing and so must the businesses in order to stay relevant. In short, any business must be able to think creatively and embrace innovation in order to survive in long term. To ensure this, business leaders and decisionmakers need to have a solid understanding of how innovation is brought to life and most importantly; how to create an environment in which innovation thrives. This is the key to any successful business model. When a company or organization has an innovative culture, it will most likely grow and prosper.

Innovation in society

However, innovation is not only a matter of profit and economic growth. Innovation is also about changing our society and the world for the better.
Innovation has the ability to make substantial changes in society. Just think about the impact things such as the light bulb, the telephone, penicillin and the internet has had on the world. All of these things are the result of innovation. People, who used their creative minds, to create something extraordinary.

Today, innovation is still our main weapon to combat critical social and economic threats. For instance, the increasing amount of CO2 emissions in our atmosphere and global warming as well as the decrease in births and the increasing elderly population. We need innovative solutions, new methods and new ideas to solve these worldwide challenges.

Innovation and citizen engagement

Engaging citizens, users, stakeholders and others in the innovation process is worth gold. The reason for this is, that innovation thrives when there is an environment of several actors who talk to one another, shares ideas and creative thoughts.
The best ideas are devised when people from different backgrounds, with different skills and different experiences come together. Therefore, engaging the community in the innovation process is key in any organization or business.

How to become more innovative

There is no magic wand for fostering innovation. Innovation is a skill, and just like any other skill, it is learned through training, education and practice.

At Kaospilot, an reputable business and design school, you’ll find numerous courses within the fields of innovation, co-creation, leadership and creativity. For instance, the Co-Creation Design course is particularly designed to help leaders and employees learn how to involve citizens, stakeholders and others in developing new solutions. In this two-day course, which is available both offline and online, you’ll learn strategies on how and when to co-create, how to facilitate processes that engage citizens or users, how to create a safe learning environment and much more. The course is for anyone who wish to be more innovative.

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