Introduction: What is innovation and why do we need it?

There are many definitions of innovation. A simple one is this: innovation is thinking of, and then implementing, a better way of doing things. An innovation doesn't have to be something completely new and different. It can be any sort of incremental improvement. It doesn't have to be a new product, or even a new feature of a product. It can be any small advance made to any part of an organisation that makes it better. If you work out a way to make a process or system more efficient, that's innovation. For example, if a process takes a person five minutes to complete, and you work out a way for them to do the same task in four minutes, that's an innovation.

Some people intimidate themselves by thinking that an innovation has to be something amazing, like the next smartphone. It doesn't. You are being innovative any time you improve, in some small way, any aspect of the way you do things. A tiny incremental improvement to one part of your business can, over time, create substantial benefits. You don't have to re-invent everything. You just need to look out for opportunities to make things a little better. If you keep making small incremental improvements, benefits will follow.

An innovator is someone who introduces a new idea, method or product. You might be thinking, ‘Well, that's not me'. Yes, it is. If you ever thought up a game to play when you were a kid, if you have made up a story for your kids, or have written a ...

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