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Innovation, Creativity, Design: What It All Means to Business

by Ted Mininni  |  
April 20, 2006

This is getting exciting....

As the president of a design firm, I'm really thrilled with recent developments in the business community in regard to the new thinking about innovation, creativity and design. The April 24th issue of Business Week just came out, and lo and behold, the lead article is titled: "The World's Most Innovative Companies." The article cites the top 25 innovative companies and the reasons why they were ranked in this manner.
Everybody knows that Apple, Google, P&G, Toyota, Microsoft, Nokia, Starbucks, IBM, Dell, 3M, etc., are all innovative companies. But most people probably think of them as being innovative because of the products and/or services they produce.
What excites me even more than the products offered, is the way these kinds of leading companies have chosen to implement innovation inwardly, rather than just outwardly as seen in their offerings in the marketplace. Reinventing the way they think, their business processes, internal operations and strategies should lead the way to a lot of new possibilities.
Personally, I think it's time for companies to revamp how they think. You know the old saying: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." What I like about all of this is that rather than fretting about how tough the business environment is getting, and how China and India are seeing phenomenal growth and taking jobs from North America and Europe, some companies are seeing these tectonic shifts as opportunities.
We have to realize that smart people adapted and changed; becoming more innovative and creative when the economy shifted from an agrarian one to an industrial one. Now smart companies out there are adapting, changing and innovating once again–with the shift from the manufacturing economy to what Business Week Editor-in-Chief Steven Adler refers to as the new "creative economy."
Just imagine what kinds of opportunities exist to create new markets and fulfill as-yet undefined or untapped consumer needs. The beauty of it is: you don't have to own a company like P&G with vast resources to create an innovative business atmosphere and make something great happen. I mean, Microsoft started out with a bunch of "computer nerds" and a great idea. And look where it is today.
My message is: let's all get going and be part of this exciting move to innovate and create–by design.

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Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (, a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.

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  • by Steve Byrne Wed Apr 19, 2006 via blog

    I couldn't agree more. Years ago I read, "The Design Dimension" by Christopher Lorenz and felt its contents were as important to business success as Ries & Trout's books on positioning strategies. I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of great design (concept) as a competitive differentiator. Steve Byrne

  • by David Armano Fri Apr 21, 2006 via blog

    Great post. And good news for designers of all types. I have a blog dedicated to this exact topic...

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