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We've been blogging for a year now, and although we've mentioned it often, we haven't blogged about what got us here: Radical Innovation. Because, yes, there are many types of innovation, but we are not that interested in them.
It's clear that we haven't taken the easy way out, but since that was never our intention, that's OK. If we wanted the easy way, we would focus on improving things others have created, not creating something from scratch and solving problems nobody has solved before.
The best way to explain how we understand radical innovation is using the words of one of our founders and President, Alberto Rodríguez, who believes that "trying to solve big problems that affect millions of people or a sector of the economy in a way that nobody has done before, we could say that is radical. To do something that nobody has done before in a way that nobody has done before, we could say that this is the most radical innovation there is".
And it's not just radical, it's very complicated and requires a lot of skill. The good news is that there is a Harvard study called "The Innovator's DNA" which states that an innovator is not born, he or she is made. You just need to work on the five skills that distinguish innovators: partnering, questioning, observing, experimenting and relating.
But when we talk about creating something from scratch, there is an obvious term that we cannot overlook and that is closely linked to radical innovation: creativity. Not only does it allow us to innovate, but it is also the factor that has allowed us to evolve and reach this point. This is according to a study carried out by the University of Granada, which identified 267 genes related to creativity and cooperativeness that differentiated Homo sapiens from Neanderthals and chimpanzees and allowed them to survive thanks to their ability to find solutions to problems. A bit like what we do here, though less focused on pure survival, but…
The operational part is not easy, radical innovation involves much more investment, longer development times, and all the difficulties of starting from zero, rather than going for incremental innovation that does not bring significant change and does not allow the creation of new industries.
Accepting all this requires a mindset that is difficult to achieve. Among other things, as we said in the previous blog, , you have to have a certain taste for failure, or at least not be afraid of it, because radical innovation is based on the idea of experimentation, it thrives on the concept of trial and error.
It is this experimentation that forces you to have a flexible mindset, which, in the words of our CEO Andrés Haddad, is achieved by "falling in love with problems, not ideas". If you fall in love with an idea, all you want is for it to work, and you lose focus on what matters: solving the problem.
We have already told you that this is not the easy way, but in return for the effort you can achieve a great impact. Not only because of what your solution generates, but also because your competitors will try to copy you.
This is a blog, we cannot give you the exact recipe because it does not exist. Otherwise it would not be something that did not exist before, but we can help you with some tips because we have dozens of projects completed after more than 5 years betting on radical innovation.
After all this time, we can draw a conclusion. If you want to innovate in a radical way, a good way to do it is outside the core of the company. The day-to-day life of large companies is not always the best environment for generating innovation, and if you try, there is a good chance that the ideas or projects that emerge will end up being contaminated by business as usual.
And since there's no better way to end a blog than with a piece of advice, we'll leave it there. But we'll keep talking about it, because that's what it's all about for us.