Innovation: Solving Problems in Ways People Love

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By Stephane Jasmin, CEO of DisclosureNet(tm), on The Insight Forum.

We have been in business for over 10 years now servicing the needs of our over 500 customers in the legal, accounting, investment, public company and government space.

As an organization, we have long lived according to a set of values based on putting our customers first and building great products that people love.

Until approximately one year ago, we had actually never gone through the process of clearly articulating those values; the values that bind us together as an organization, a team, a family.

As we have started to experience more accelerated growth, it became increasingly clear that to ensure we maintained a strong culture, we needed to define our core values in order to work toward a common vision.

After months of discussions, gathering ideas and feedback, we were finally able to capture our four core values, which are:

  • Lead through innovation
  • Be passionate and determined
  • Empower those around you
  • Have fun

The first of our core values, and the focus of this blog post, is innovation.

While it is clear to us what we mean by the word “innovation,” it has become clear to me in preparing this blog post that the term innovation outside our organization means different things to different people.

The dictionary definition of the word innovation is “the introduction of something new.”

This is not to be confused with the word invention, which is the “creation of something for the first time” or the word improvement, which is “the process of making something better.”

The word innovation can often be misunderstood to mean any one of these terms or even the combination of all three.

In his book, “The Myth of Innovation,” author Scott Berkun warns of the dilution of the word innovation to just mean a “very good product.”

In fact, he feels that the word has become so overused and its meaning so misused, that he encourages people to actually stop using the word altogether. Rather, use words that say exactly what you mean.

When we use the word innovation at DisclosureNet™, we mean:

  1. Seeking to do things in new ways in order to better meet the needs of our customers
  2. Sometimes it means creating things for the first time in ways that have never been done before
  3. It always means doing things better than they have ever been done before
  4. Making creative connections between great ideas in order to form new solutions
  5. Something that is practiced throughout the entire organization, not just product development
  6. A culture that encourages and supports exploring new ways of doing things

While this detailed definition of innovation makes sense to us, it may not be the same definition shared outside our organization.

To that end, there may be a better definition to share with the rest of the world; one that does a better, more concise job of capturing the essence of why we value innovation in the first place.

That better definition would be this:

Innovation: Solving problems in ways people love.

We believe that if we are achieving this definition of the word innovation, then we are confident that we are truly being innovative in every sense of the word.

View original blog post here.


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