Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Innovation ingredients

BusinessWeek and the Boston Consulting Group ranked the world's most innovative companies. What do these companies have in common? A few characteristics stand out to me: a collaborative spirit and a knack for forming fruitful partnerships, incentives for the companies' creative thinkers, flat hierarchies with lots of internal communication, and looking outside of the organization for ideas. Libraries too would benefit from making innovation a top priority, since marketing depends on being able to creatively identify and fulfill patrons' needs. The author of the article states, "Today, innovation is about much more than new products. It is about reinventing business processes and building entirely new markets that meet untapped customer needs." While this sounds more than a little businessy, I do agree that libraries are relevant only to the extent that they serve patrons' purposes, and that to do this, libraries ought to be innovation hubs that encourage librarians to continually revisit how we do things and how we identify needs. I think you'll be interested in some of the approaches used by companies in this article to do these very things.

If you need a little help in keeping your own creativity muscle in shape (and who doesn't?), you may want to sign up for the Idea Sandbox's monthly e-newsletter. This month's creativity tip is all about how to avoid squashing good ideas before they even get off the ground.

Categories: creativity_and_inspiration

1 comment:

Paul (from Idea Sandbox) said...

Jill, thanks so much for linking to Idea Sandbox... I hope that my resources help your readers! - Paul