“The Internet? We are not interested in it.”

Not too long ago, a famous businessman made this statement. He was, and is, one of the most innovative people alive, but he too was caught up in the “naysayers” mentality because the idea was out of his normal thinking path. Who was this entrepreneur? Bill Gates of Microsoft in 1993!

I bring up this story to start off the Fenestration Innovation blog.  Innovation brings life to an organization. Just as the three critical points in real estate are “Location, Location, Location,” the three critical points in business are “Innovation, Innovation, Innovation.”  Innovation is a focus that can be developed in your organization, and to succeed it must be nurtured and defended from the ones who will argue against change. Innovation focus has a friend in teamwork.

We all know the famous story of Thomas Edison’s light bulb as a primer for innovation. Edison was a famous innovator, but he did not work alone. He had a great team that helped to create the filament that would make workable light bulbs common. In fact, most innovations are the result of teamwork. In the case of our industry, one of the top innovations is low E glass. This glass coating we know today was developed starting in the 1950s in the U.K., to work done by Philips in the 1960s, to the U.S. Department of Energy,  to today’s glass coaters. Many variations and techniques were tried, and some succeeded.

The innovation of low E glass has been a team effort since its theoretical beginnings. The same teamwork concepts and focus will allow your innovation programs to overcome their obstacles.

A simple plan for an innovation focus for your organization should include:

  •  a decision to focus on innovation
  •  the creation of a team
  •  a directive to drive out fear of failure
  •  a commitment to time and resources
  •  a plan to ask everyone for ideas
  • development of the winners

One of my mentors was a self-taught engineer who built custom machinery. He was an innovator who saw his customers’ challenges and worked to go beyond their requests. When he brought his ideas back to the team, I thought first of the reasons it would not work. His advice to me was, “let’s spend more time thinking of ways to improve this idea than ways to stop it”.  His ideas and machines live on because he was committed to innovation!

Ray Garries, DWM’s newest blogger, is the president of Global Fenestration Advisors. Check out the Fenestration Innovation network on Linkedin.

1 Comment

  1. Great inaugural blog, Ray! Looking forward to more!

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