Innovation – The #1 Skill for Success

Successful people come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Have you ever taken a good look your “business heroes?”  They might look like they just stepped off the runway of a modelling agency, or they might look like a windstorm dropped them in a rumpled and mismatched heap.  

Appearances and personalities don’t define the perfectly successful businessman, but there are a few things they all have in common.  One of the most out standing characteristics that I’ve noticed is innovation.

What exactly is innovation?

There are a lot of different ideas of exactly what innovation means, but since I’m writing this article we’ll go with mine… the ability and gusto to come up with a brand new idea, develop it, and make it sell. 

Now, just to get your imagination in working order, let’s go to “the land of let’s pretend” for a moment.  Somewhere out there a young princess realised that there were a lot of lonely princesses and a shortage of handsome young princes.  

This enterprising young lady brainstormed and came up with the idea that if she kissed a frog he’d turn into a dashing prince to dance the night away with.  How many frogs did she kiss before she found the perfect species?  Who knows!  Maybe she analysed species and counted warts before she found one that actually worked. 

Then she sold the idea to the young princesses of the surrounding kingdoms.  She must’ve done a heck of a good job at marketing the idea, because it’s still being printed today.

Okay, it’s a bit corny I know, but innovation is more than a fairytale skill.  It truly does work in today’s market place.  Unfortunately there’s no magic wand that will give you instant innovative skills.  It must be practised, and developed with painstaking care and diligence.   

Why Work at Developing Innovation?

1. To Recognise Market Needs and Opportunities
How many gaps in the market have gone unfilled for generations?  At first you might scratch your head and say, “No way, everything that can be marketed has been.”  The best place to start is with you.  Take a look at things that you wish you could change.  Brainstorm different ways to meet those needs and ways to market them to others who are just like you.

2. To Capture Potential Value 
You might be surprised at what putting a brand new spin on a “ho-hum” product can do.  A few examples are:  artists using saw blades to create rustic paintings, or even the Vietnamese using thrown away rubber tyres to create sandals.  

3. To Develop New Products and Services
A sharp eye for undeveloped customer needs might put you on point for a brand new product or service that will put money in your pocket.

4. To Gain Market Share from Competitors
Anything new is exciting, and you have to try it out.  Whether it turns out to be a passing fad or a market that will make a permanent place in society, there is money to be made.  Don’t forget that passing fads make a comeback.  I’ve recently noticed that the teenage mutant ninja turtles are on the rebound!

Developing innovation and getting your creative juices flowing may take some time and energy, but the payoff could just be your pot of gold.


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