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Innovative ideas and implementation can start without you (or your organization) taking the first step. You can tinker your way into boosting innovation by starting at step two and building on work that others created. Think of the pre-work before you innovate as a fantastic launching pad for new ideas.

Boosting Innovation by Starting at Step Two

I saw a fun reminder of this opportunity via the December 2019 edition of Seasons, the monthly food, life, and health magazine from HyVee grocery stores.

Boosting Innovation with Cookie Hacks

This issue of Seasons featured multiple articles filled with recipes and how-to tips for holiday cooking. Two articles addressed the possibilities of boosting innovation by starting at step two:

  • 10 Ready-Made Dough Fix-Ups demonstrated ways, all beginning with the same HyVee pre-made dough, to create special Linzer, pinwheel, and fudge cookies, among others.
  • 5 Store-Bought Cooke Hacks employed a comparable theme but with a twist. Step one built on using well-known cookie brands, such as Oreos, Nutter Butters, and Chips Ahoy, to create snowmen, Santas, wreaths and other cookie treats through fancy decorations.

All of the end results are new creations; all of them are the results of boosting innovation via a beneficial step one from other brands.

Step Twoing a Holiday Meal

Even before reading these articles, I'd lived this concept while preparing our Thanksgiving dinner. With our family in multiple places this year, one Thanksgiving dinner included only my mom, her neighbor, and me. We decided to buy the food from another Kansas City grocery store and transport it to western Kansas.

Boosting Innovation Thanksgiving Sliders

When heating our store-prepared meal, I discovered that the food was bland. Knowing how sensitive my wife is to spices, it makes perfect sense that the store would sell relatively ho-hum food. Faced with two hours to fix the situation, I re-imagined the grocery store food: instead of a heat-and-eat meal, it became the step one for a customized dinner. With a quick trip to yet another grocery store and consulting recipes for more innovative versions of our Thanksgiving meal while I shopped, I grabbed ingredients to improvise and spice up our food to create a flavorful meal.

I didn’t do any cooking, per se. I simply took advantage of boosting innovation by making the food tastier than it was (and creating a Thanksgiving slider!).

Boosting Innovation for Your Brand

Thank about this lesson for boosting innovation as you develop new ideas for your brand.

Suppose, instead of beginning from scratch, you started with pre-made parts, finished goods produced by others, or simply added small components? How could boosting innovation by starting at step two help you innovate faster and better than if your organization started at step one? – Mike Brown

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