What is innovative?

It seems that when you tell people, they should be doing “innovative” work, it riles them up. To some people “innovative” is the most technically groundbreaking, earth shattering thing in the world.

“It’s not scalable.”

“It’s not sustainable.”

“Not everyone can be innovative.”

Those are responses I’ve had.

Here’s something innovative, a pizza place serving families that uses only uniquely shaped pans, a butterfly shape for example, that changes every month giving customers a reason to show off what was delivered on Instagram.

It’s also innovative to staff up more than competitors in your industry to deliver on tighter timelines.

Innovation is the bravery to lead with your vision rather than relying on empirical or social proof.

In both those cases, the businesses aren’t looking to their competitors and asking, “How are they doing it, they are relying on their vision.”

Of course, what most people are worried about is that if they do the work of being innovative, they might be copied. They might have to innovate again. To that I say, “That’s the point.”