Kim, founder and CEO of Centrally Human, is a marketing technology and human-based executive leader. With more than 12 years of experience in human-based marketing, she brings proven expertise to help marketers connect with customers in authentic, meaningful, relevant and profitable ways.
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By Kim Brown, founder and CEO at Centrally Human

There are so many definitions and interpretations of the word Innovation. Even today – in March 2018 – we’re still using this buzz word as a catch-all without much context or clarity into what it means, how to do it, how to use it, and what exactly it’s role is in getting us from point A to B to Z.  In 2013, Wired wrote an article about Innovation being the most overused word in America. My favorite quote from the article: “The word has been overused to the point that national discussion has become circular, ‘to be innovative, we have to encourage innovation.’”

Unfortunately, not much more clarity around Innovation has occurred in the last 5 years. While there are more examples to reference as points of clarity, I still hear it used way too generally to be helpful, especially for business.

At its core, Innovation is about improvement.

Innovation is a process, a thing, a way of living. It’s a huge word. When it comes to business, the phrases “we need to be innovative” and “we need to innovate” are not helpful. At all. I hope to end that with you today.

I’ve created a Business Innovation Map that illustrates the many faces and applications of Innovation. You and your organization will fall in many different areas of this map depending on the project, situation, goal or people.

This map is based on years of experience creating innovative work, coaching towards innovation, and driving business outcomes from Fortune 100s to start-ups.

The goal for this map is 3-fold:

  • Align the desired business outcome with the appropriate type of Innovation
  • Give you a tool to illustrate how you’re applying Innovation in all different aspects of business
  • Help you realize you’re probably more innovative than you think

Business Innovation Map

4-quadant map of business innovation in practice, created by Centrally Human LLC. It spans new innovation compared to optimization against iterative changes compared to expansive impact.

4-quadant map of business innovation in practice, created by Centrally Human LLC. It spans all types of Innovation: completely new compared to optimization; iterative changes compared to expansive impact.






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