I’ve got a post up as of today on the Harvard Business Review blog. Here’s how it starts:
As the editor of the journal Innovations, I’m asked with some regularity, “So, what is innovation anyhow? How would you…”? (eyebrows usually furrow here) “… define it?” Since I don’t particularly enjoy debating definitions, I usually respond by saying: “That’s a difficult question. But one thing is for sure: If you’re not pissing someone off, it’s probably not innovation.”
I like this response because, if it doesn’t end the conversation, it usually shifts it from definitions to dynamics — which is what innovation is all about, after all. But I also like it because it captures one fundamental obstacle to innovation that all would-be disruptors must be prepared to face: the potentially hostile response of incumbents who don’t want to see their market advantages threatened.
How to handle the hostile response from incumbents when it comes? Don’t just create a product. Create a movement.
(… and if you want to know what this all has to do with the Pillsbury Doughboy, you’ll have to read the post…)