“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” — Thomas Edison

Many times we try to measure innovation by how many patents and new products emerge from the work. It is best to rethink this logic and see the difference between just inventing something and building a long-term innovation system.

True innovation is all about creating value at the lowest cost. Innovation is a system or process that gives invention its shape. Innovation is making sure that a great idea becomes valuable to consumers. Ideas are not enough. True innovation is a designed process that not only manages ideas, but helps to create them.

The process of innovation brings a space for ideas to grow under the right conditions. The idea must be nurtured, evaluated, value-defined, tried and funded. It’s common knowledge that only one idea in 300 makes it to market or use. How is this done?  An example of a great Iinnovation system is Philips Labs, which was founded in 1925:

“Design is at the heart of our company, shaping the way people experience our brand, products and services. In fact, everything you see from Philips has been designed. As proud custodians of the Philips brand, we make sure design is always the starting point for innovation. And it plays a central role in our business strategy; driving everything we bring to market.”

Philips has 15 locations throughout the world and 500 teammates to build this legacy of innovation. Their manifesto gives them a common theme, and the best part is “… We believe design can really make a difference. It helps envision a better future,but also makes those visions a reality. It lets us place people firmly at the center of everything we do. And it supports our passionate belief that we can help make the world healthier and more sustainable through a future we design together” !

We could find no better recommendation for the importance of innovation than these words.

Keep innovating!

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