Francine Gordon knows a few things about connections: people, creativity, and the germs of ideas that you didn't even know you had but at some point thought about when you were four years old.
With an evolving skill set sharing curiosity as a common denominator, Gordon's career and subsequent business remain focused on creativity and innovation.
“Innovation is creativity that is implemented to create value—it could be money, time, or social good—that makes work easier, work that's more fulfilling in a different way,” says Gordon.
“You could quantify social good, for example, as how many people you have helped. Grameen Bank is an example of this, and Kiva has added the dimension of getting people involved in helping others. Both offer innovation in a different way,” she says.
“Everyone has a different definition of innovation,” she says, laughing. “I have a friend who only tracks disruptive innovation, and anything else is a modification. Personally, I also look at sustaining innovation.”
Innovation sounds easy enough, so why do so many businesses struggle with innovative thinking and implementing their own innovations—delaying action until a competitor swoops in and scoops their ideas and inventions and process innovations right from under their noses?
“Companies get stuck in their own success. When I worked at Tandem (before it became Compaq which then became HP), management believed in cannibalizing their own business before some one ...