47
Chapter 5
E” Envision the Need
Introduction
The first step in the ENOVALE
®
Solutions process is to
Envision the need. We could easily use the letter “E” to mean
establish the need,” as this has the same meaning. Innovation
begins with a need; the need drives the innovation. Specific
needs come from the internal organization and the external
customer. Needs are the catalysts and initiating factors for
innovation. These needs can be as simple as the need for
shelter or as complex as the need for massive computational
storage in a small container. All innovations came from some
need. Even the most basic, fire, was an innovation for those
living at that time. Using fire for cooking and warmth was
truly more of a discovery. The innovation was the method
to initiate the fire and keep it burning. The need was for fire
and for the methods needed to contain and control the fire
for future use. Consider the power to control fire for cook-
ing, preserving, heating, defense, barter, etc. The ability
to initiate and control the fire gave the person or group a
powerful advantage. Because it met so many crucial needs, it
also became the envy of surrounding peoples. The need to
initiate and maintain the fire drove the innovation; fire already
48 ◾  Chance or Choice: Unlocking Innovation Success
existed! This is the first element of the ENOVALE Solutions
process: First, identify the need(s).
For those of us lucky enough to be living in the twenty-
first century, our needs have become very sophisticated, and
this now drives innovation. We search for those innovations
that simplify or make our lives easier and better (safer, richer,
more fulfilling, increased leisure time, etc.). Innovations drive
society and its achievements. The question, though, is how to
use innovation to meet more of our present and future needs.
How can we ensure that innovation becomes routine (part
of our lives that enriches our well-being) rather than just a
special event? For most organizations, innovation is a special
event, one that is uncommon and often unplanned. For inno-
vation to become routine within the organization, there need
to be a commitment and a plan (strategy) for accomplishing
this objective.
Although ENOVALE Solutions is a seven-step strategic plan,
commitment and support from leadership are essential. Our
experience with business leaders is that commitment is forth-
coming if an available and workable plan exists. The descrip-
tion of this process and its requirements provides leadership
with the tools and resources to make innovation a routine
function that can be planned and monitored and is responsive
to the needs of the organization.
Envisioning the Need
To envision the need requires a comprehensive understanding
of the term innovation (described in Chapter 2). Whatever the
innovation, it must begin by fullling a particular need. Specific
needs emanate from individuals. The ability to light a darkened
room without the use of fire (a candle or gas lamp) was
unthinkable for most of the nineteenth century. Edison achieved
the unattainable by creating the first “working” light bulb. The
need drove this invention and the improvements (innovations)

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