What does a Marriott Hotel Bathroom have to do with Innovation?

Innovation – something that just the select few are blessed with, right?

WRONG – on so many counts.

You see, innovation is something that we all possess, whether or not you know it.  And in relation to the marketing of your small business, a vital talent that you need to nurture and hone to take full advantage.

So what is innovation, exactly?  Well, according the one of the masters himself – Steve McKinney – former Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Hewlett Packard, innovation is, and we quote,

The end result of human creativity.”

Confused?  Let’s explain a little further.  You see, many people are creative, but putting that creativity into action is the step that so often fails to happen.  People use the words ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ interchangeably, but in reality, there’s a big difference.

Innovation is the ability to implement that creativity.

And the three reasons that so many fail to be innovative?

  1. The lack of personal drive
  2. Self-doubt
  3. The inability to place yourself out of your comfort zone

Do any of those touch a nerve?  Because around 75% of people think that they aren’t creative or innovative.  But the good news is,

Innovation is a skill that ANYONE can learn.

Steve McKinney comes from the fabled ‘Silicon Valley.’  He’s pretty much one of the world’s leading innovation gurus.  And he sure is the expert at placing himself well out of his comfort zone.

6 or 7 years ago, when podcasting was just that twinkle in a select few individuals eyes, Steve locked himself into a bathroom in a Marriot Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, and recorded his first podcast.

  • Did he feel stupid?  Yes.
  • Was he plagued with self-doubt?  Yes.
  • Did he want to do something different, that wasn’t already known as a great marketing strategy already?  Yes.

This was innovation at its most pure.  Taking a concept – in this case imparting information – and placing a brand new spin in a way not been done before.  And if you’re wondering why this first recording was done in a bathroom, it was simply down to acoustics.  Plus not having to worry about any expense of a recording studio or other outgoings on what was, at that time, a completely ‘out there’ venture that he had no idea if it would work.

And that’s what innovation’s all about.  Having the balls to get out there and, to coin a phrase, just do it!

After all, you’ve had the cojones to set up in business yourself, so the next step is to use that drive to create some innovative marketing.