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8 Signals of a Highly Innovative Company

CEOs have heard this a thousand times before, but in a rapidly changing marketplace it’s crucial for companies to remain agile and innovative. Here, Fast Company editor-in-chief Robert Safian shares eight principles to follow to remain successful in today’s economy. Three of these guiding principles are: growth should be a tactic and not a strategy, data is power, and copycats are history.

“Innovation” is a word CEOs hear all the time. Your company must be innovative. In order to stand out in a tough economy you need to innovate. It’s a buzzword that you can’t escape, but what exactly does it mean? How exactly can create an innovative environment? Fast Company’s editor-in-chief Robert Safian thinks he knows the answer.

Here are Safian’s 8 principles of innovation:

  1. Growth should be a tactic, not a strategy: quality over quantity is a principle Starbucks has used to revitalize its brand
  2. Big companies need to be as nimble as startups: agility is key if you want to keep up with new technologies and a constantly changing marketplace
  3. Tech is disruptive in unexpected places: technology affects all industries, Safian gives the examples of LegalZoom (legal documents), KivaSystems (robots in warehousing) and Polyvore (fashion)
  4. Design is a competitive advantage: don’t ignore the user experience
  5. Social media makes products and services better: all organizations can benefit from social media, just look at the National Marrow Donation Program as an example
  6. Data is power: compiling and storing data makes (and keeps) you highly relevant
  7. Money is flowing: banks aren’t the only place to find funding anymore, just look at Kickstarter and Y Combinator
  8. Copycats are history: you need to be original across all markets, new ideas are coming out of BRIC countries too


Read: Letter From The Editor: The Lessons Of Innovation

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