Innovation is forever

My dad yesterday told me he was going to prepare a presentation on Innovation, and asked me “what is innovation?” The question caught me offguard, since innovation is a pretty broad topic. I thought up a pop science answer to the question and told him this:

Innovation is like a diamond. It can be quantified with 4 C’s:

Creativity: The ability to think laterally. This can be augmented with TRIZ, mindmapping, Blue Sky sessions and other methods of generating that “spark”.

Commitment: A clear focus, tangible support from management, plus consistent flow of resources. If you keep pulling people off research, nothing will be accomplished.

Collaboration: Maximizing knowledge reuse. This may mean creating interdisciplinary teams.

Communication: There is more to collaboration than teamwork. It’s also asking the tough questions, doing to due diligence, networking with experts, and debriefing colleagues.