I love innovation because it’s about people.
The best innovations come from conversation, from listening to people, and understanding their challenges, because you can’t find the solution without knowing the problem. People often ask me what it means to work in Innovation, and I often boil it down to that “I find better ways to do things”.
Henry Ford is famously supposed to have said ‘If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses’, but if you don’t know that speed is an issue, you’ve got no starting point.
I also love that innovation doesn’t have to be big to be meaningful. It can be a process, a technology, or just a way of thinking. Something as simple as changing the name of a filing system for more efficient access to information. Or changing the most commonly used phone machine option from number 2, to number 1, to avoid people calling the wrong line.
Or even changing how long it takes to click a button from 1.5 seconds to 0.8 seconds, because that’s the optimal time it takes to be recorded correctly; that’s how your muscles move. These are all things that I have lived – not glamourous solutions, but still, crucial optimisations that took us forward.
But what I love the most is that we get to help fill in gaps that actually make a difference in people’s immediate life, the general going about your day moments, you know the ones where you just wish there was a better way to do this.
I think we’ve all been there and felt it. A simple change that could make a huge impact on our lives, like the teapot that doesn’t leak when poured, the chair with a cup holder in the arm, or the pre-filled verification code on your iPhone.
It’s about saving time, even seconds, in those tiny little moments that really do mean something; they can change your entire day, or your entire view of a product or brand. It’s playing on those small nuisances of life and knowing how to make them as seamless as possible for people. We exist to help our clients find these moments and execute them to perfection, to ultimately make people’s lives better.
Innovation is about always wanting to do better, but also knowing when to do better. Timing is crucial. Innovations aren’t always fast, they’re trial and error, finding what works for everyone, doing your research. This all takes time, but ensures that when your innovation is launched, it reaches and helps the most people as possible.
Innovation is a mindset, it’s about resilience, perseverance, patience, and determination. Everything that you need to keep going and keep creating. Not being afraid to fail, because you know the impact of the wins will certainly outweigh the frustrations of getting there.
Innovation creates a culture of growth, a mentality to never settle, never sit still. To always strive for more.
It’s psychology, biology, economics, physics, neuroscience, chemistry, biomechanics. It’s everything that goes into how we think, feel, move, and behave as people.
Sometimes, it’s also that patience, determination and belief that you need, waiting whilst the market catches up; McDonalds and their promise of tasty convenience changed the world, but it took time to realise that people would sacrifice a bit of quality for something that’s faster and cheaper, because sometimes, it then becomes better. And now, who can imagine a world without drive throughs?!
The goal is always to convenience the person at the end. It should always be about making people’s lives better. Convenience goes such a long way, and any method, process, technology, language, or solution that can convene your life is one that will likely succeed.
At Blue Yonder we innovate to help people live convenient lives and we innovate because we love to see change for the better. Our big thing is moments, because we know they are important – life is a series of moments, summarised in milestones.
All those small daily interactions and experiences are so important in understanding the bigger picture of what we think, how we experience the world and the brands, products and services we engage with. There’s so much more that can be said on this topic, but I’ll save that for another post entirely…
So, for now, let’s carry on innovating and making the world a better place!