Innovation isn't just a barefoot CEO, who eats lentils and meditates.
For most companies innovation is a back to basics exercise.
A dogged customer focus: A determined and consistent focus on the customer. Every single aspect of a company is seen through the customer's eyes. The entire eco-system around the business is orientated around customer success, fulfillment, betterment, and gain.
Looking forward + looking back: Innovation is not just about looking forward. It's actually trying to balance the past with the future by producing what is both relevant now - present income and in the future - potential income. Fix your eyes too far into the future and you won't be able to fund the innovation you seek - well this is unless you have untold VC funding - but most small/medium businesses do not.
Planning and prioritisation: Your direction is set. You purpose is known. Your business is on a mission. You have a realistic plan on how to get where you will be. You are chunking things into achievable chunks. The chunks have a sense of order. You are planned and prioritised.
A budget: A lack of budget does NOT equal innovation. Having a budget and financial constraints around your innovation agenda is a good thing. Constraints are beautiful things they edit, refine, simplify and focus people on work that matters. A budget keeps waste to a minimum and reduces the time to value by eradicating indulgences and or too many heads in the room.
Real work = perspiration: Innovation is not just thinking but DOING. You and your team run at things on your prioritised list. You are reworking in real-time your strategic direction when it makes sense to. You are connecting. Growing relationships. Implementing robust processes. Closing deals. Earning money to cover the costs of innovation.