Ah yes, that word — “innovation” — all too often when I hear it spoken, I want to turn into Inigo Montoya and remind people that it probably doesn’t mean what they think it means (or perhaps Vizzini and just yell “INCONCEIVABLE!” at the top of my lungs and run away laughing). And, unfortunately, this has resulted in the word being relegated to the corporate doublespeak graveyard along with such illustrious company as “synergy” and “taking it offline.”
But it’s really not innovation’s fault that people don’t “get” it — it’s the fault of the people who have repeatedly misused the term, and it’s something that we as Product Managers should always be striving for. When done properly, innovation is not only a good thing, but necessary to the evolution of your company, your business, and your product. When done poorly, or with a poor understanding of what it means, it’s nothing but a death march of pointless “vision sessions” and “blue sky thinking — just more corporate doublespeak.
In an attempt to restore innovation to its rightful position in our profession, let’s dispel some common myths surrounding the term.