Innovation requires vision.

By any definition of innovation, it is about creating something new and that is valued. I have thought long and hard, researched and talked to many wholesale-distribution leaders about the definition of innovation. We have reviewed how hundreds of wholesaler-distributors and manufacturers define innovation.

If there was one major thread, it is around the word “differentiation.” Many wholesaler-distributors and manufacturers attached their definition of innovation to their company’s ability to differentiate itself in the marketplace. It’s important to call this out. Innovation is not about differentiation. When you are focused on differentiation you are focused on two entities: your company and your competitors. That is the wrong focus. Innovation is not about you. Let me say that again: innovation is not about you. It’s not about your competitors or even trying to keep up with your competitors. To the contrary, innovation is about your customers. The Innovative Distributor leads customers to a better future for which they are willing to reward you.