What is innovation and why do I keep hearing about it?

It’s 2020 and I think the word innovation comes up at least once per meeting in the work place. Is this just a trend or are we all on to something here? Let’s look at the meaning of innovation. Webster dictionary defines innovation as, a new idea, method, or device : [a] novelty. With this definition, it seems that innovation is nothing new at all. Since the beginning of time humans have contributed “new” things to the world.

So why are we all so obsessed with innovation? 2020 has stimulated some serious setbacks to many industries and organizations. The cause of this as we all know has been the deadly virus, COVID 19. Many companies had to shut their doors or layoff thousands of people. Revenue has declined for many companies that had a business model requiring people to be near others. However,  many companies were able to thrive during this time. These were the companies that required little to no human touch or companies who were able to quickly INNOVATE!

A former boss of mine always said, “evolve or die”. He is a Biologist so his motto suits him well, but he applied that phrase to everything. I chose to adopt that motto and 2020 has proven to me that if you can provide a new idea or a new method of doing things that solve a problem, you can excel.

The insurance and legal space had to quickly evolve and adapt to keep operating this year. From virtual home inspections to remote videoconferencing depositions, the organizations willing to adopt new technologies quickly, suffered less. The insurance space saw the reward in new approaches and the once slow to technology industry, is now leading in innovative products and processes.

Innovation isn’t limited to a cool tech product or solution; innovation can be the simple change from work from the office to work from home. Simply doing things differently, that provide a solution to a problem is innovation. We are hearing more about innovation because it works! Legal groups are building teams dedicated to ideating and insurance carriers have announced leaders to manage innovation for their companies. These groups are solving problems, creating efficiency and working on forward thinking initiatives.

If your organization isn’t built with the bandwidth to have a Chief of Innovation, this doesn’t mean that your company is doomed. Small to mid-size organizations are implementing directives to empower individuals to innovate daily. Everyone should have the opportunity to identify challenges and provide a possible solution. Collaborating with multiple solutions can create results that increase sustainability.

If you want to learn more about innovation check out RISE’s Innovation Committee.  

Katerina Garavito, President of RISE and Director of Enterprise Accounts at Esquire Deposition Solutions

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