Leadership believes that innovation as a game-changing disruption of exiting industries or creation of new industries, like the way iTunes helped create a whole new way to sell and distribute music, is relatively rare and difficult to achieve. Rather, “continuous innovation” can be easily achievable instead. Continuous innovation consists of smaller, more frequent innovations. These lead to smaller gains, but more reliably advance a company over time.
Focusing on continuous innovation has significant advantages over concentrating solely on the big, disruptive innovations. Continuous innovation:
- Strengthens an organization’s “innovation muscles”. Simply put, it builds an organization’s capacity to carry out innovation.
- Moves you forward as an organization. By placing a series of smaller bets on continuous innovation, a business can more reliably make progress in growing market share, developing new products and services, and finding ways to be more efficient.
- Build momentum toward disruptive innovation. Finally, continuous innovation can provide the stepping stones that lead—at least sometimes—to those industry-shaking disruptions that so many companies aspire towards.