Lately, innovation has been getting a lot of attention, as economic experts throughout the Midwest point to it as the key to our region’s continued economic revitalization.
In our latest issue of Universal Advisor, we interview Nate Young, President of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based NewNorth Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping leaders step out of their comfort zones and embrace a creative, disciplined approach to innovation. “Many companies verbally recognize the importance of innovation,” says Nate, “but few have developed a system to do it. It’s a little like a book-of-the-month club. Everyone knows this is hot right now, so they talk about it and add innovation jargon to their mission statements, but they don’t tend to act on it.”
Why the disconnect? Many CEOs have strong, logical minds. Those of us steeped in business training can be hesitant—even a little fearful—of creative enterprise. According to Nate, however, we have the capacity to have just as strong of an intuitive mind, and when we combine the two, we can have a strategic advantage we’ve never dreamed of.
To read our interview with Nate in its entirety, check out our innovation-themed issue of Universal Advisor. In addition, I’d love to hear how your organization approaches innovation. Do you have a process for innovation? What do you do to encourage innovative ideas, and how do you go about integrating those ideas within your organization?