Breaking News from The Wall Street Journal: The Word “Innovation” Has Begun to Lose Meaning

Really?

Here’s the lead from the story.

“Got innovation? Just about every company says it does. Businesses throw around the term to show they’re on the cutting edge of everything from technology and medicine to snacks and cosmetics. Companies are touting chief innovation officers, innovation teams, innovation strategies and even innovation days. But that doesn’t mean the companies are actually doing any innovating.”

Not exactly a revelation worthy of being on the front of the Market Place section above the fold.

The word “innovation” and its derivatives lost true meaning some time ago.

We crafted an internal paper for clients more than two years ago that captured the following data.

Quantifying Noise Level Around Innovative

Companies Pushing Out InformationWith the “I” Word Add to the Noise

In the technology sector, building equity in this brand characteristic called “innovation” is damn hard because every company wants this ground.

As a result, all the varied audiences you care about – journalists, customers, employees, partners, etc. – have become numb to the term.

Which brings us back to storytelling.

It’s not enough to do something that’s a radical departure from the status quo.

It needs to be communicated to the outside world in a way that people can understand and appreciate.

One of the modules in our storytelling workshop builds off the concept that drama comes from articulating the difference between what was (old way) and what is (new way). The larger the gap, the greater the drama.

This is one way to rise above the noise level.

How large does the gap need to be before it registers as innovative?

That’s a tough one.

To borrow a phrase, I know it when I see it (usually).

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