Innovation is about looking forward, says Anica Landreneau of HOK. Predicting environmental and infrastructural demands can help companies develop green solutions that will be relevant and impactful well into the future.
Creative and design-driven input is only a portion of innovation. According to Cary Strickland of RTI International, hearing from manufacturers is equally important when determining feasibility of a product or gaining practical knowledge essential to a holistic solution.
Paige Mullis, director of concept development at Glen Raven, says solely focusing on areas of strength can weaken innovation. Glen Raven avoids falling into this trap by continually searching for new inspiration in technology and trends in the marketplace.
The most popular applications and companies offer the most convenience to users, says Derek Fridland of HUGE, Inc. Trends are moving towards a more embedded form of expediency, providing consumers with goods and services before they even ask through the use of data.
Anica Landreneau of HOK points to nature as the best example of innovation. With thousands of years of research and development, it’s an expert in optimizing design by making more out of less.
NASA was once the only manufacturer of rockets, but today they share their best practices, offer grants and incentivize industry to think about space applications. According to Steve Gaddis of NASA, this allows the government agency to focus more on developing innovative processes and researching deep space exploration, and less on handling logistics and travel to space stations.
The success of innovation teams rests in their ability to look at problems from different vantage points, says Cary Strickland of RTI International.