Innovation is not the goal

I think it's time to kill the buzzword Innovation. It's become overused. According to some, everything is innovative. According to some, you aren't a good company unless you're known for innovation. I think they're wrong, and I think innovation as a buzzword has become so mainstream that the business world is losing focus on its customers. I say this as I continue to experience worse and worse customer experiences and become more and more frustrated by companies like Apple (who can't get their browser to work properly), T-Mobile (who screwed me over on a rebate), etc.

I think Good To Great should be required reading for everyone who thinks they operate in the innovation space. Good to Great is not about innovation - it's about businesses that broke out of "good" corporate performance and evolved to "great" corporate performance. And they were innovative in the process (more importantly they had great leadership that enabled that innovation). And that's the point. The goal was not to be innovative. The goal was to create great business results. Innovation happened to be a tool companies used to drive growth. The companies listed in Good to Great (Abbott, Fannie Mae, Circuit City, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreen's, and Wells Fargo) aren't exactly companies that scream "innovation" are they? Walgreen's? Fannie Mae? Gillette? Nucor? Let that be a lesson.

If you are focused on Innovation, you are focused on the wrong thing. Focus on your customers and/or your business.

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