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What Innovation Is NOT About?

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Dan Toma comes from an entrepreneurial background. He has been involved with technology startups across the world and is an innovation community leader in Europe. Dan focuses now more on enterprise innovation management, specifically on the changes large organizations
need to make to allow for new ventures to be built in a corporate setting.


He is the author of ” The Corporate Startup: How Established Companies Can Develop Successful Innovation Ecosystems ” and has worked with companies like Deutsche Telekom, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, and Allianz. A big proponent of the ecosystem approach to innovation, Dan has also worked with various government bodies, in Asia and Europe, helping developing national innovation ecosystems and implement national innovation strategies.

If your passion is business then you have read and gone through thousands of materials talking about how it is important to start with an idea, and how it is so much harder to keep with the changing trends every day.

In order for corporations to allow innovation to happen there should be some DO’s and DON’Ts. And here I’m going to lay out the DON’Ts, and remember it takes effort to stay in tone with this world’s business advancement. You have to offer something real for your work to grow and success never was about how much work you do, it is about the result of this work, not the process.

The first misconception is: innovation is not about money, it does not matter how much money is spent on creating a new product, opening a new market, investing in industry. Innovation is about creativity facing the changes in order to make a success and profit. Many corporations started small but ended up huge with this just small yet creative ideas. Many leaders and companies’ executives spent money on R&D teams with no considerable results. Think about where the money in your hands should be used? On what product?

Tesla and Volkswagen. Two companies we use as instances, Tesla didn’t spend too much money on large R&D team, yet they were more successful compared to Volkswagen in terms of the achieved results.

Another common misconception is that innovation is not achieved if your team is large. Small teams or bigger teams – it does not matter. Innovation needs brainstorming for ideas and sometimes the more the merrier. However, large numbers in your team does not make the right idea come, it does not make it easy to find a start to innovating plans.

Third point some people fail to notice is that having a dress code, you all know about tucked shirts and expensive watches, does not represent an innovative team.

Along that concept comes the last misconception, the trips you take to London, berlin or occupied Palestine to understand how innovation work, how Startups work and how innovation is performed. Going on many inspirational trips does not make you an innovative. Actually, the opposite of innovation is what happens. They attend business meetings and startups but return with the same ideas but a different post it notes!!

Innovation is about a lot of patience, creative thinking, brainstorming, going through processes to employ your useful resources in making a profit out of success. And success in business is not about how money you make, the money indicates how much clients you have. Success in innovative business means you make efforts in solving problems and founding services that people need. To be innovative means you find that lead to new or existing market with some product that people, your clients, consider important for their own benefits. To conclude, it does not matter what to look to appear innovative, because innovation comes from something deeper, much deeper, than what you where or how much money you spend on your team.

08 February 2020

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