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.