Are you Innovating Forward?3 min read

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Are you and your company innovating forward or are you falling behind? Understand that this is something that all businesses should really be thinking about. The world is changing ever so fast. There is so much competition, so much advancement. If you are not innovating forward – you are essentially falling behind.

The definition of Innovation is the act or process of innovating.

Synonyms for innovation are: change, alteration, revolution, transformation, new measures, new methods, modernization, novelty, newness, creativity, originality, ingenuity, inspiration, inventiveness.

Take a moment to internalize the synonyms listed. Grade yourself on each one of them on a scale of 1 – 10. This will be a great reality check to see where you are in the progress of your business. Innovators are “Outside the box” thinkers – so, shouldn’t you start thinking like one.

Signs of Strong Innovators are . . .

  •  Strong innovators’ are committed to innovation as a source of competitive advantage.
  • They are clear on their Vision, Mission and Culture.
  • They pursue an approach for risk taking, leverage internal and external sources of knowledge, and have a dedicated budget for venturing and testing concepts.
  • They have a strong customer focus—concentrating on releasing products that customers will embrace rather than pushing new products simply because they are novel.
  • They insist on strong processes that strive for speed that both embrace and manage failure—leading to strong performance.

 

Who are some of the top innovating corporations for 2015?

Something that may surprise you is that IBM a company that many forgot about ranked #1 with 3,059 patents granted beating out Apple who ranked No. 11, having been granted 780 patents this year.

Here are the top 40 companies by number of patents granted in 2015:

  1. International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) – 3,059
  2. Samsung – 3,052
  3. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha – 1,782
  4. LG – 1,263
  5. Google – 1,083
  6. Sony Corporation – 1,074
  7. Microsoft – 1,037
  8. Qualcomm Incorporated – 1,034
  9. Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba – 1,022
  10. Panasonic – 896
  11. Apple – 780

Universities are another breeding ground of innovation. Take a moment to feel proud as a Floridian in the fact that the University of South Florida ranked 12th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2013. In addition with 95 patents, USF also ranked in the top 15 for the fourth year in a row among universities worldwide in generating new inventions.

“University researchers and inventors are creators of new solutions to existing difficulties, and, as such, are vital to the advancement of technology,” said Paul R. Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research and innovation, who also serves as president of the NAI (www.academyofinventors.org). “Protection of this innovative property, through patenting, strengthens the creation of new industries and employment.”

Think of where we would all be today without the likes of some of the greatest innovators of our time. Think about what these names have created in their lifetime. Look at the likes of Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Bell just to name a few.

In conclusion, in the abc’s of building a better business I is for Innovation. So, take a reality check on yourself as an innovator. Start thinking “Outside the Box”. Build your brand, identify your companies Vision, Mission, Culture and start embracing the world of possibilities as a great innovator.