What Is True Business Innovation?

Aug 6, 2014

Buzzwords come and go. According to the Global Language Monitor, which tracks English language usage and compiles a yearly list of the top 50 business buzzwords, 2013 was the year of proactive, monetize, transparency, and win-win, among others.  

Alison Bauter is a reporter who covers small business, start-ups, technology, finance, and education for the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Credit abauter.com

Interestingly enough, innovate wasn’t on the list. But it is a word that gets bandied about quite a lot too, especially as companies seek to adapt to the speed of modern business. But what does it mean for a business to go beyond the buzzword and truly innovate?

"Businesses are really competing in this global, digitally driven marketplace. For them that means that have to be able to move a lot faster than they ever had to before because things are happening a lot quicker in this tech-driven economy," says Milwaukee Business Journal reporter Alison Bauter.

With changes occurring quickly, businesses often feel pressure to innovate. However, innovation and vulnerability go hand-in-hand. Major changes include risk, and as creatures of habit, any business can be slow to change for the better.

"Part of the struggle here is that the infrastructure in a lot of these established companies doesn't support that kind of risk taking and mentality which can involve failure sometimes," says Bauter.

The Milwaukee Business Journal's recent published article titled Innovation: Beyond the Buzzword looks at some of the ways Milwaukee companies are rethinking their business models.

The story’s author, Alison Bauter, spoke with Lake Effect's Bonnie North, revealing an inside look into Milwaukee companies that are rethinking their business models.