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Is Innovation the most overused word in today’s business world?

February 26th, 2016 by Judd Ballard

Occasionally I get on these rants, I can’t help it, mostly related to pet peeves I’ve discovered over time as I try and immerse myself in what’s going on in Corporate America. This one might take the cake because I can’t go a couple days in a row anymore without it sneaking up on me.

Google “innovation”, click on News, and Goooood Night!

It obviously means too many different things to too many different people.

Often linked to research, medicine or technology. Is that the reason? “We’re on the cutting edge of tax returns…Woo-hoo!”

Could be as simple as staying ahead, not getting passed by, eliminate the stagnant, blah blah blah. It’s becoming more and more difficult to keep track of what it really means.

I attended a breakfast seminar two weeks ago, titled “Why Innovation?” By far the most formidable discussion on innovation I’ve witnessed recently, and certainly with all due respect to the presentation, even the speaker admitted how cliché the word has become in his line of work.

I read two months’ worth of Columbus Business First, one Cincinnati Business Courier and back to back issues of Smart Business and ran out of fingers counting the number of times I came across some variation of the word.

I sat through a one hour CPE webinar for lunch Tuesday and made a hash at the top of my materials every time some form of the word was spoken.

Are we running out of ways to say, “we’re doing everything under the sun to differentiate right now?”

Business clichés in general, way overused. Where’s the creativity? Where’s the innovation in using the same word that everyone else is using? Are we too busy? Set yourself apart. Innovate!

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