The concept of innovation is not new. However, just like the business models that are based on it, innovation is constantly evolving. The possibilities it brings and its importance are growing continuously.
Success in the 21st century is achieved differently than it was before. One can own the most successful taxi company, without owning a single car or rent out millions of rooms in cities all over the world, without owning a single property. It is possible to be the largest trading centre worldwide, without producing a single product.
However, it is not only business models that reveal that things have changed. Our priorities have changed. We are communicating, living and working differently today than we did ten years ago. If you want your company to be successful, you have to adapt to change, keep up with it or even overtake it. You have to be ahead of the game.
Companies are now under a great deal of pressure to innovate. Management guru Peter Drucker summarised this situation with the phrase: “Innovate or die”. If you do not develop new approaches, or bring new momentum to the company, you will, sooner or later, be beaten by smaller, innovative new companies or start-ups. That is why innovation has been a key issue on the agenda of many companies for years now. Nevertheless, according to a study by McKinsey, 94 percent of all company directors are dissatisfied with the innovation performance of their company.
The innovation process can be compared to a complex machine consisting of many different parts, each of which has a specific focus: technology, people, space, resources. If all elements harmonise, the innovation mechanism is set in motion. However, in contrast to the classical machine, implications of the innovation process cannot be predicted – this is simply how it is with creation, creativity and ideas. But if you are ambitious and have a capable team, all pieces of the puzzle will eventually fit together and something new will be created – something innovative.
There is more to innovation than just pressing a button. You cannot force innovation – but you can create an environment that promotes innovation and gives new ideas the room to grow, providing that the space is given careful consideration at the planning stage. Such a space is of great importance because it affects how one feels and behaves. If the room is well designed, it can offer inspiration for employees and encourage both creativity and cooperation.
Innovation is more a team sport than an individual performance. It is accelerated in an environment where people get together and encourage each other to deliver good performances. A space is an innovation area if it can tell a story – the story of great ideas.