We’ve all been hearing it—“Innovation is over.” “Design is over the top.” “Everyone’s talking innovation so it’s becoming a meaningless term. Kevin McCullah did a piece for Core77 on the backlash against design. This lays out all the criticisms against design (and they are all over the lot).
Now comes a really insightful piece on the backlash against innovation by Reena Jana that pierces through the blah blah and gets to the heart of the matter. The truth is that the backlash is against the fad of innovation, not the fact of it. The backlash is against CEOs who get up and shroud their companies and their reputations in the rhetoric of innovation while continuing to sell out-of-date, poorly designed products and services. Consumers know this is fake and realize that the talk about innovation is not authentic. Indeed, CEOs who use innovation as a brand fad do deep damage to their brands.
The hard work of building an innovation culture is only just beginning in corporations. It will take a generation, just as the quality movement took a generation to build. Jana’s story, The Backlash Against Innovation, uses Payback—Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by BCGers James Andrew and Harold Sirkin, to get to the hard truths of innovation. And she quotes an old friend of mine, Rosabeth Moss Kanter at Harvard and her piece, The Innovation Trap, in the Harvard Business Review.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.