Clearly, innovation is always in. Perhaps the bigger question is whether innovation should be pursued inside the company or out. It’s happening both ways. Innovation is big, big business. Ad agencies, digital shops and marketing companies have Chief Innovation Officers. Lots of money is spent in internal innovation departments and outsourced innovation companies…and the crowdsourcing phenomenon is contributing. Pepsi outsources its innovations and it has done remarkably well with it.
Innovation is the result of hard work and serendipity. I am of the mind that it’s most likely to occur from people doing not people sitting around thinking. The famous story of the 3M’s Post-It note resulting from a lab spill comes to mind.
The answer to the in or out question is a little bit of both, but working together. Inside to set the product or service stage and context — and outside for the random, unfettered thinking and consumer insights of trained selling and marketing minds. Peace!