Is there an "I" in Recovery?

By Lorrie Lykins

Is it me or is the I-word everywhere lately? Innovation seems to be on everyone's minds these days and the topic is very much in the news. The Economic Times reported this week that corporate leaders worldwide view innovation in products and services as the clear path to growth. Innovation is considered to be more critical than other approaches to increasing revenue - more so than mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures in the race to increase market share. In short, innovation is thought of as the thing that allows organizations to differentiate themselves from the competition and ultimately will determine who thrives and who fades away.

A simplistic view of innovation is that the right people with the right skills and resources drive it. But with more than eight million jobs evaporating since the recession began in 2007, it's a bit overwhelming to consider the consequences of that unprecedented talent displacement and what it means in terms of lost innovation. We'll probably never know. And as the painstakingly slow pace of recovery plods on, I'm thinking that innovation may not prove to be everyone's favorite word - at least not in the short-term.

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