Harvard Business Publishing 2:47 PM Wednesday September 16, 2009
Innovation: it’s the ultimate source of advantage, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the economic ring. Innovation is what every organization should be ruthlessly pursuing, right? Wrong.
I’d like to advance a hypothesis: awesomeness is the new innovation……
It’s time to ask: have the costs of innovation exceeded the benefits?
A better concept, one built for a radically interdependent 21st century, is awesomeness. Here are the four pillars of awesomeness:
1. Ethical production - Innovation turns a blind eye to ethics — or, worse, actively denies ethics…. Starbucks is shifting to Fair Trade coffee beans, for example. Why? Starbucks isn’t just trying to innovate yet another flavour of sugar-water: it’s trying to gain awesomeness.
2. Insanely great stuff. What is innovative often fails to delight, inspire, and enlighten — because, as we’ve discussed, innovation is less concerned with raw creativity.
3. Love - You know what’s funny about walking into an Apple Store? The people working there care. They don’t just “work at the Apple store” — they love Apple.
4. Thick value. It’s the most hackneyed phrase in the corporate lexicon: adding value.
You might be innovative — but are you awesome? For most, the answer is: no. Game over: in the 21st century, if you’re merely innovative, prepare to be disrupted by awesomeness.