Good Governance: Innovation strategy

Your board lays the foundation.

by: Les Wallace, Ph.D.

Many modern-day businesses declare innovation as a goal. Yet few, if any, measure and track innovation in their organizations. Most boards not only don’t track innovation, they frequently misunderstand what it means in today’s business environment. Some less-informed boards even fear innovation because they think it means taking risks that could harm members.

Is it time for your board to enhance its understanding of innovation and how a board might drive innovation in your credit union?

The business literature typically refers to innovation as a “big leap” in products or approaches to the marketplace—a leap significantly different than what preceded it. Innovation is different from simple creativity in that creativity may look at solutions from a novel angle, yet only achieve small iterative improvements on a process or idea. Innovation, instead, tends to provide leaps in significantly different approaches and improvements that create measurable value for the business and its customers.

Radical, Disruptive, and Routine Innovation

“Radical” innovation affects the foundation of an industry. Most of today’s radical innovation is going on in the pharmaceutical/healthcare marketplace. Personalized medicine (molecular biology-based genetic treatments), ingestible cameras and sensors, telemedicine, and single-organ hospitals are all game-changers in the traditional healthcare marketplace.

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