The Innovation Pattern

Written by Brian Whipple, Program Coordinator of the WT Enterprise Center. For more information about the WT Enterprise Center visit

There are probably thousands of blog posts claiming that there are indeed steps to innovation. And I, by no means, can verify the accuracy of any of them. Nor do I want to claim that I know the steps. But I have been in a unique position to see lots of innovative ideas while working at the Enterprise Center. It seems like ideas flock to this place. And I, personally, have seen a pattern with the truly innovative ideas. And I can usually (not always) spot the difference between an average idea and a truly innovative idea. It usually happens in three steps.

1. Chance favors the prepared mind – Usually innovation happens around people that are very well educated in a particular area. Whether it is their profession, passion, or hobby, it almost always seems like innovation happens around folks that know their stuff.

2. Communicate the idea – It seems like to me that the truly innovative ideas are the ones that can be communicated well. If an entrepreneur can make a 3rd grader understand, then it has the makings of a good idea. If the idea is too complicated for the average joe to understand, then that person is a scientist, not an innovative entrepreneur.

3. Make it happen – An idea is pretty useless unless someone can make it happen. It becomes innovative when it is implemented and it comes to fruition.

The reality is that everyone understands these three points. They are not hard to get. But they are extremely hard to do. The exciting thing is that all of our clients are doing these three things, and we get to help. It is my personal opinion that we get to work with the most innovative companies in the region. And that is awesome.

Categories: Business Insight