Often, we get stuck on the term "innovative" as a lofty concept. Instead, for me, "innovative" is acknowledgement that everything—from process to products to general norms—has room for improvement. We are always learning from the concepts, people, and organizations that come before us. So what makes a company innovative? A strong willingness to regularly look with an improved overall experience in mind, not just at what has worked or seems to work.
2. What makes your company innovative?
3. What or who are some innovative companies or people that inspire you and your team?
As an organization, we look to memorable consumer facing brands. Connecting with a large crowd is no small task. It takes real complexity of thought and empathy to make it feel simple and intuitive to the end consumer. I find the ability to distill complex concepts into simple and relevant products that people relate to quite incredible. Some that come to mind are all around us, such as Lyft and Starbucks.
4. What are some publications, print or digital, you read daily or have read that help you stay on top of your game? These could be books, magazine, blogs, e-newsletters, etc.
From a news/commentary perspective, The Economist is such an incredible source for so many of the world's challenges. If someone is looking to solve a problem or get the creative/intellectual juices flowing, this is a fantastic place from which to start. Otherwise, I find myself looking to in-person conversations with others who work in very different industries and fields. We try to do a lot of listening at cove to understand needs and wants—listen quietly and respond loudly.
5. What advice would you give to up-and-coming leaders striving to be innovative in today’s business environment?
Don't try to be innovative. Try to solve a problem. If that requires building upon what others have done in a new and meaningful way—well then, embrace it!