Innovation with Intent

Ten Faces of InnovationInnovation has become a buzzword in business of late and as someone who has “Innovation” in their title, it is a task of mine to grasp what exactly innovation means to us at LIVE+. To us, being innovative means being creative problem solvers, always placing human connection at its centre.

During a recent move, I came across one of my university set-work books (that admittedly, I skim-read at the time) called The Ten Faces of Innovation written by Tom Kelley. It gave me a whole new context to what innovation meant and the differing roles team members can play. Within the book, Kelley identifies 10 personas that play a role in establishing innovation in an organisation or for a campaign.  The book is highly regarded by the likes of Seth Godin and Tom Peters.

 I was surprised to find that my role as Innovation Architect at LIVE+ had been described perfectly in Kelley’s Experience Architect persona. “[Experience Architects] are people who focus relentlessly on creating remarkable customer experiences, [they] set the stage for positive encounters with your organisation through products, services, digital interactions, spaces or even events.”

There is however, an understanding needed for organisations that innovation is something that needs to be embedded into a culture of an organisation to be successful. Innovation is not a flick of a switch, it is a process and requires an implementation plan much like any business function, it needs to be woven into the business’ modus operandi. It is crucial that organisations understand their business in its current state, identify weak points that require action and fix them before bringing new pieces onto the game board. As Adrian Gonzalez, a supply chain and logistics analyst, put in an article recently, “If you can’t execute the small stuff, you can’t expect to innovate.” Organisations require a comfortable level of operation that pushes them into the need to take that step into innovation.

Innovation requires intent to be successful. As Kelley puts it, “It is not good enough to just have a good idea. Only when you act, when you implement, do you truly innovate.” In a combination of learning, organising and building, any organisation, regardless of size and industry, is capable of being innovative and ahead of their competitors. As any business function, innovation needs to have a positive impact on the bottom line to reflect success.


KELLEY, Tom. (2006). The Ten Faces of Innovation. London: Profile Books.

GOZALEZ, Adrian. (2014). Forget Innovation If You Can’t Execute the Small Stuff. [Online]. 23 March 2014. Available from: [Accessed: 30 April 2014].


2 thoughts on “Innovation with Intent

  1. Sim says:

    But what is it? People? Process? How does innovation arrive?

    Is it doing something differently or creating a strategy that is innovative… or is it simply a product of necessity?

  2. lamyfrog says:

    Innovation is a mindset and a culture. It is a concept that can, and should be, applied to any business. Whether it’s a guy on the side of the road selling newspapers or a multinational organisation. It’s about working to strengths and being effective at what you do to see a benefit on your bottom line.

    The way in which innovation comes about will be different and situational for any business. It can be out of necessity when long-standing and outdated process need to be overhauled or when starting a business you need to implement the culture from the get go.

    For me, it’s not about a competitive advantage (although that is what you ultimately gain), it’s about seeing what competitors are doing in your rear view mirror when they’re trying to catch up with your way of thinking. It’s about setting new standards and practices and being the best at whatever it is you do.

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