BRW -- Designer Mark Armstrong, who designed the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch, says that there are no new ideas: "It is all about cross-linking and connections." One of the key triggers for the Olympic torch Armstrong designed was a curved Aboriginal hunting boomerang artifact he noticed in a gallery one day when he went for a walk to think. He's a strong believer in getting out and about, and says that most workplaces are designed to give you "no thinking space at all." But what should you be thinking about when you have the space you need?
Business analyst Darryl F. Bubner notes that a company that adopts a new technology usually believes it's being innovative "whereas often, in the broader context of the diffusion of that technology, it is a follower, or even a late adopter rather than an early adopter. Regardless of how much a company might benefit, innovative is not the word it should be using." Most CEOs, asked tend to think of innovation as no more than R&D, and "the same distortion occurs when creativity is paraded as innovation," say Bubner. Yet R&D accounts for only a small part of the total cost and effort of profitable innovation processes. He says there's a big difference between selling the technology and collaborating with customers to find innovative ways to maximize the potential of the technology. Innovation is not a theoretical notion -- it must be implemented, it must work, and it must change things. In most cases, the real value-added comes "from approaches to design and implementation."
Darryl F. Bubner in BRW 16 Jun 2004 via John Gehl.