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Innovation Isn’t About Ideas

Every business needs to be innovative. It does not matter if you are a for-profit business, a non-profit organization, or a government entity. The simple truth is that every business model eventually fails because conditions change over time. We do not need to work toward stability, we need to work toward disruption - that or we become irrelevant.

There is no shortage of advice on how to do this. In fact, there is far too much advice. Designers advise you to focus on the end user, but Clayton Christensen of Harvard College says that good companies fail by listening too closely to their customers. Then there's Open Innovation, Lean Startups, and so on and so forth.

The truth is that there is no one way to innovate. Everyone has to find their own path. Just because someone has had success with a certain strategy does not mean it's right for the problem you need to solve. So the best advice is to gather as many tools for your toolbox as you can.

Here are four facts about innovation that you rarely hear, even though they are critically important.