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Christy MacLeod – Mar 31st, 2015

How do the best companies grow? They innovate, then build market share and memory structures to reinforce it.

Innovation is one of the most important precursors to building a long term growth engine for your business. The companies with the strongest brands, most motivated employees, and healthiest investor bases are typically those where their top stakeholders are invested for the long term. They have customers, employees, and investors committed to the future growth of the organization. Growth doesn’t come from cutting costs or making systems more efficient — it comes from expanding product and service offerings into new markets.

That’s why innovation is so important. It advances business systems, creates new markets, and reinvents your customers’ experiences with your brand. But to be truly innovative, your innovation requires two things: structure and measurement.

Innovation requires structure

There is a discipline to innovation, or as Peter Drucker writes in the Harvard Business Review, “innovation is real work, and it can and should be managed like any other corporate function. But that doesn’t mean it’s the same as other business activities. Indeed, innovation is the work of knowing rather than doing.”

As a corporate function, it has to have a structure. Structure can either be a strategic investment in an innovative culture that pulls good ideas from all areas, levels, and geographies, or it’s the process used to go after innovative ideas.

Structured Innovation as Culture

An innovation structure can be in the strategic culture created to encourage and inspire innovation.

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