Innovation is Relative

“Innovation is Relative.” That was the title of a presentation given by Vince Albergato at a recent Learning eXchange and an interesting opportunity for companies to look beyond the borders of their own organization, as well as their industry to find new ideas. While we often measure ourselves against our industry competition, and certainly we should, we need also be mindful of solutions and best practices throughout the world around us. As their application to our market can, at least rewrite the competitive landscape and at most, reshape the box from which we operate within.

Best practices are great, but too few people are considering next practices.

Consider these great innovations:

  • Text Messaging: Originally designed to be a customer service tool and cost saving platform for mobile phone providers to trouble shoot phones remotely. Text messaging was never intended to be an end user-to-end user communication tool. Amazingly, in 2014 we sent 140 billion text messages worldwide.
  • The Speeding Lottery: In Copenhagen, local officials launched a speed camera lottery.  Monies collected through speeding tickets were used as prize money in a lottery for those that do not speed. Over a period of time, the average speed dropped 22% as a result of this mashable idea.
  • Post-It Notes: The glue, Acrylate Copolymer Microspheres, was originally designed in 1968 as superglue to be used by the aerospace industry in the manufacture of planes.  An initial failure for obvious reasons, Post-It Notes were brought to market in 1980. On average, 3M has produced 50 billion “sticky notes” each year since.

What is your greatest next practice story?