One of the interesting things about being so focused on innovation and its various manifestations is watching how large companies choose to enact innovation in their enterprise. It might be thought that size means the absence of the flexibility and nimbleness that innovation requires. Certainly, there are many larger organizations which do not display overt signs of innovation thereby proving the assumption but you might be surprised at the way in which some of the world’s largest enterprises choose to innovate and how much sustainability plays a role in that choice.
As “innovation” is defined simply as “introducing something new,” there are no qualifiers as to how ground-breaking or earth-shattering that something needs to be—the only expectation is that whatever is introduced needs to be better than what it supplants. Yet this is where the trouble starts when attempting to assess innovation across multiple companies, let alone market sectors. The fact is, innovation means different things to different people and we need to assess the innovation we observe based on its relative intention and stand-alone merits.
After all, the marketplace will decide how best to crown the winners, yes?
In this series of posts I’ll take a look at some major market players and the different ways they are embracing innovation. The players are: GE, TATA, BASF, Virgin Group, and Samsung. Each of these companies is making a series of bets on innovation but the range of choices that they are making is quite divergent. Each subsequent post will explore one way in which the enterprise is meeting its innovation demands and how those demands embody their approach to sustainability. First up — GE.