Why must we innovate? Simply because firms want to live a long and prosperous life. And what about firms which do not innovate or only speak about it? Not a thing. Their survival is not a must.
If a firm is to maintain its position and increase its share on the market, it must respond flexibly to new requirements from customers or even better to come forward with new ideas before the market starts being interested in them. The quotation from a Czech poet : “Who stops moving for a while will find himself standing aside“ is valid here more than anywhere else. And this is the reason why we must pay constant attention to innovating.
The American founder of modern management Peter F. Drucker says that each organisation, not only a production enterprise, must possess a fundamental capability – to innovate. A Czech economist living in the USA Prof. Milan Zelený says: Find your own way – only thus will you make the world richer, only thus will you extend its (and simultaneously also your own) opportunities. Copying and imitating approaches of others only makes our world poorer, makes it more uniform, reduces our potential, creates a monoculture. Find your own way. The path will disappear and the only thing left will be your footsteps. Be yourself“. Seth Godin speaks about a violet cow, Steve Jobs adhered to the motto “think different“ and the firm Toyota is guided by the motto “nothing is impossible“. To make things in a different way is amusing.
In developing their performance many firms and people are concerned with questions about what they should do and how to do it. However the most important question is why to do it. You can be an efficient person who can make a lot of things and earn a lot of money every day, but towards the end of your life you will perhaps find out that you have been climbing quickly up a ladder propped against the wrong wall. Uniqeness means to understand global trends and to find your own approach. This does not mean reckless benchmarking and imitating best practices, but searching for something unique, where we can be best on a global level. Yes, we mean creativity, innovations and ability to make experiments and create new concepts. This is an approach comprising searching, risking and experimenting – not everything will be sucessful at first and some things will not be sucessful at all. What is important is persistence, patience and correction of errors on the path to exceptional concepts.
Henry Ford once quoted: “All Ford cars are absolutely the same – in contrast to people. Every human life is a unique phenomenon under the sun. Never before and never later will anyone be the same. All young men should be aware of this. They should try to find within themselves that unique spark which distinguishes them from other men and blow on it heart and soul to make it burn. The society and schools will perhaps make an effort to extinguish it since they want to shape us uniformly. However I say: do not allow the spark to be extinguished since only the spark can turn you into someone“. The Czecho-Slovak innovator and coach in the field of strategic management Prof. Ján Košturiak adds that the society perhaps forces us to be efficient, to grow and earn money every day. However we must learn to stop, to replace routine and “best“ practice with new concepts which may seem to a lot of people too daring, risky and need not immediately work correctly. Do not allow our ideas to be taken away from us, let us cultivate them from all angles – obstacles in our lives must not stop us but serve as our guides.