THE BLOG
12/20/2012 04:38 pm ET Updated Feb 19, 2013

Stay Inspired This Holiday Season: The 12 Days of Innovation

Tis' the season for harrowing crowds, spiked eggnog, and delicious holiday feasts. It's also the time of year for distraction, procrastination and a lull in business productivity.

Many companies see a lag in productivity and innovation during the holidays. According to a study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, 70 percent of organizations regard interruption of workflow as their top concern during the holidays. However, the key to business success in the long run, is to create a sustainable culture of innovation. With a little help from the 10 imperatives of Roberts Rules of Innovation, and a fun little jingle inspired by Doblin, may your holiday be both innovative and productive.

For many years, innovation was seen as the development of new products. However, creating new products is only one way to innovate. The Doblin Group says, "Initially developed in 1998, the Ten Types of Innovation showed that companies that integrate multiple types of innovation will develop offerings that are more difficult to copy and that generate higher returns."

Without further ado, the 12 Days of "Holiday Innovations" (taken from Doblin), with a few extra inspiring points to make the full 12 days.

  • On the first day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- A Profit Model Innovation: An innovation in the way in which you make money. Spotify uses the "freemium" model, where the software is provided free of charge, but a premium is charged for advanced features.
  • On the second day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Network Innovation: An innovation using connections with others to create value. Target works with renowned external designers to differentiate itself.
  • On the third day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Structure Innovation: An innovation in the alignment of your talent and assets. Whole Foods has built a robust feedback system for internal teams.
  • On the fourth day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Process Innovation: An innovation in superior methods for doing your work. Zara's "fast fashion" strategy moves its clothing from sketch to shelf in record time.
  • On the fifth day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Product Performance Innovation: An innovation in distinguishing features and functionality. Airspray's instant foam dispensers.
  • On the sixth day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Product System Innovation: Complementary products and services. Mini Cooper's complementary flatbed pickup and annual oil change.
  • On the seventh day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Service Innovation: Support and enhancements that surround your offerings. "Deliver WOW through service" is Zappos' #1 internal core value
  • On the eight day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Channel Innovation: How your offerings are delivered to customers and users. Costco provides it's members with low-price, quality, and brand-name merchandise.
  • On the ninth day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Brand Innovation: Representation of your offerings and business. Virgin extends its brand into sectors ranging from soft drinks to space travel
  • On the tenth day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Customer Engagement Innovation: Distinctive interactions you foster. Wii's experience draws more from the interactions in the room than on the screen
  • On the eleventh day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Sustainable innovation/Innovate or die: Sustaining success means ongoing renewal of your IP portfolio. Innovation restarts the product life cycle. Apple's iPad, iPod, iPhone, iHome, etc.

And finally...

  • On the twelfth day of holiday innovations, my true love brought to me -- Productivity Innovation: According to a study done at the University of Hiroshima, watching pictures of cute animals makes you more productive. Here's some help.

InnovationCoach and Robert's Rules of Innovation wishes you a wonderful holiday season. May you stay inspired in 2013!