Friday, June 12, 2009

I have just returned from Croatia. I was a keynote speaker at the European Organization for Quality's conference. My topic was "Innovation in a Time of Transition".

My two weeks in Croatia were incredible. What a beautiful country and great people. Everything was perfect. It is interesting how much they have been able to accomplish in re-building their country after the recent wars.

When I think about Innovation today, in this most interesting of times I come to this conclusion. This is based on substantial research and practical experience in this arena.

Helping your organization to achieve more innovations, to create the culture to support innovative thinking and to adopt a process for innovations is a major undertaking. It can seem daunting to know where to begin. However, the most important first step is just that – to take that first step. It is a large and exciting change process. Even a small initiative can help to demonstrate the possibilities of a more robust effort.

Our future depends on nurturing creativity and intelligence rather than protecting the past by bailing out struggling manufacturers. In our time of Transition, there are opportunities for each of us to use our full creative talents to expand our businesses and industries for the future. In crises like these, nations, regions, cities and states can rapidly change ground; they can improve or lose position, depending on the actions they take.

This should be a time for renewed optimism as we move forward. It is a new period in our history and that always bring with it challenges. But it also brings with it new opportunities. Use innovation to move forward. Pessimism is a great killer. Optimism is the only attitude that can bring you through. I know in our firm, Business Improvement Architects, we have been affected by the economy so rather than hide away we are using our resources and money to develop new products and services. This economy has spurned us on to become more innovative. I am hopeful that this will make a difference. I know it will for you to.