Innovation: more than just a buzzword

Carter Corson is working with partners on a European-wide research project on innovation. In the first of three videos, director Hannah Johnson introduces Fincoda and Rupert Cornford looks at the bigger picture, and why this buzzword really matters

Innovation: to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas or products.

There are a million blogs written on this subject: it’s funky, on trend and mentioned in most news stories about business.

We are in love with innovation.

On the one hand, industries are being disrupted from the outside by entrepreneurs who are doing things differently – think electric cars and the mobile payments industry.

These people see the world how they would like it to be, and they won’t stop until something can be done better or improved.

But does everyone have the same drive?

Clearly not, because otherwise we’d have a world full of entrepreneurial personalities driving continual change.

Innovation exists on a spectrum. Developing new ways of doing things happen all the time, and in many cases people don’t even realise they are doing it: new processes in companies, ways to access markets, new products in new industries…

We probably innovate more than we think we do. But, of course, it doesn’t all make the headlines.

Innovation is important because of large-scale changes being driven through the economy – by technology, scarcity and necessity – companies must innovate or they won’t survive.

This means businesses want to know more about the people they employ. How innovative are they? What experience do they bring? How willing are they to challenge the status quo and build on existing strengths?

Innovation can be hard – it threatens ‘the way we do things around here’ – but to be challenged is to think in new ways, find new ways of looking at things – and ultimately move forward.

To explore innovative potential is the new frontier.