Innovation as magnetic poetry

Innovation is a single word with multiple definitions depending on your job, your industry or your department. So how does one narrow down what it means to be innovative? Is it only defined by new products, business processes, or ideas?

Each organization will define innovation differently based on size, industry, diversity, etc. A serious effort that embeds innovation across the organization needs to have a commonly understood definition - when tied to metrics, it will help a company understand if it is reaching its innovation goals.

Certain words and phrases are often found in these definitions – a veritable Magnetic Poetry of innovation that, if lined up correctly, spells out the right strategy that will work for your individual teams and culture.

Words to consider when formulating a definition:

  • Action words: Accomplish, demonstrate, illuminate, enlighten, excite, play, creativity, solutions, experiences, and insight.
  • Industry specific words: customer service, products, design, forecasting, information technology
  • “Goal” words: Driving, eager, purposeful, striving, soaring

The definition should contain these types of language in order to create value for your company. Action words are there to guide what your company wants to do with innovation. Industry-specific words are meant to illustrate to how your company wants to innovate in its space. Goal words help mold the definition into something long term, and they help identify the results your team can expect to see from innovation.

Think of this exercise as a fridge with endless amounts of words; like Magnetic Poetry. Putting these words together will help your team match its present innovation state to its future innovation goals. From there you can build the path that will get the results you seek.

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