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Author's profile photo Itzhak Shoshan

Innovating? Nothing but execution matters


Any innovation consists of 3 main components: creative idea, timing, and execution. While most tend to think that the creative idea is the most significant component of innovative solution I claim that only execution matters while other 2 components are not even relevant for innovating now days.


Creative Idea – Something new, that didn’t exist before and valuable.

Execution – The process of transforming a creative idea to a valuable object.

Timing – Also referred to as external factors. All of the factors that affect the object and are out of control of the executing team like market readiness, legal constraints, and many others.

So, how can we innovate without a creative idea, why is timing irrelevant?

Timing – Let’s start with timing – This component represents all the unknowns? Will the innovation be desired by its users? Will the eco-system support it?

In the past it was a true issue. But today with the vast amount of data being collected from all sources, we just have to get access to the right data source and ask it the right questions. The real unknowns are very limited now days and with today predictive analytics tools you can get pretty good assurance for factors that used to be unknowns. There is no real need today to cross your fingers and hope for luck. Therefore, it is all back to execution. Get the data, analyze it, and come up with the right decisions.

Creative Idea – What about creative ideas? How can we innovate without them? Simple. There is no need for new ideas now days. There are so many creative ideas that been tried in the past and failed due to wrong timing or bad execution that we just need to dig into past failures, analyze why they failed and see if now it’s the right time to execute on them. Therefore we realize again that its all about execution.

Q.E.D. – If you are still not convinced just look at today’s most successful innovations. If you will research enough you will find out that it was tried before (no need for creativity) and that available data can support its business model (no need for the timing factor) and you will probably recognize few less successful competitors that are not as successful only due to their lower execution level.


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      Author's profile photo Sylvia Santelli
      Sylvia Santelli

      Wow, what an interesting need for new ideas and timing is everything. I hear what you are saying and I agree with your stance on timing. I once heard a similar thought process around art/music/ etc that all new "art" is just a version of what has already been created...there is nothing new.

      I'm going to have to let this one digest. I think my mind just had a paradigm shift.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Chandra Shekhar Agarwal
      Chandra Shekhar Agarwal

      looks very practical approach !

      Useful one..

      Author's profile photo David Loop
      David Loop

      I'm curious as to why you think execution usually fails.  Smart people can try to execute on a good idea and still fail.  To succeed where others have failed, it isn't just "try again", it's "try better".

      Innovation is not just the domain of what you are building, but how, why, for who, and - as you had pointed out - when.

      Author's profile photo Itzhak Shoshan
      Itzhak Shoshan
      Blog Post Author

      I dont think that execution usually fails. I just made the point that when innovating your focus should be on execution and less on the other factors.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Itzik - there can be great execution but it still can lead to failures because of flaws in strategy. There are many examples of perfect execution which resulted in failures.