The 1st Law of Innovation: A Successful Innovation Must Offer a Solution - Lorraine Marchand

Insights from Leaders
3 min readDec 8, 2020

Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” However, being innovative is not always easy, and not everyone can go through with their ideas - yet.

Professor Lorraine Marchand is bringing forth the key to innovation in her upcoming book ‘The Innovation Mindset’.

A life sciences consultant, speaker, writer, and professor — Professor Marchand is an expert at showing entrepreneurs how to communicate the value of their innovations to investors.

We are in an ongoing conversation with Lorraine to discuss her upcoming book The Innovation Mindset. Our monthly conversations with her will give readers a sneak-peak into what’s to come, and how to obtain an innovation mindset. During this conversation, Professor Marchand tells us about her first law of innovation.

Lorraine, your upcoming book The Innovation Mindset has created a lot of buzz. You previously mentioned that the book covers certain Laws of Innovation. Can you tell us about the first, and probably most important law?

“My book The Innovation Mindset underscores the need to have the right attitude. It’s a frame of mind that welcomes change — that is biased towards asking questions and solving problems. That is the starting point. From there, I lay down the law — the eight laws of successful innovation. Eight chapters of the book are dedicated to one law each. The first law is that “a successful innovation must offer a solution.” This law is about asking yourself, “what is the problem I’m trying to solve?”

“In this chapter, we look at some of the fundamentals of creating a problem-solving culture and learn a method for observation and problem identification in the organizational setting. We examine the problem-solving approach to innovation and the process of observation, evidence, gathering, and witnessing the problem in its natural habitat.

“For example, Willis Carrier was trying to solve the problem of ink clotting in a hot printing press when he invented the first form of air conditioning. We address some critical questions that any would-be innovator must ask, including: “Who is affected by the problem and what are the roles of key stakeholders?” “Do any of our stakeholders have more invested in the problem than others?”

“In our Carrier example, the owner of the press and workers had to work longer hours to accommodate poor printing results, and they were personally uncomfortable with the high heat and humidity in the facility. Carrier had real motivation to solve that problem.

“For innovation to occur, the innovator — Like Carrier, must put him/herself into the problem, observing, studying, recording, interviewing. In this chapter, we discuss how to do that and review rich examples of how to evaluate problems.”

Thank you for sharing, Lorraine. We are excited to learn more about the other laws in the upcoming months.



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