By Xavier Butte, MS, EiQ & Terry M. Farmer, PhD, EiQ

Opportunity IdeaBuilding Capabilities

We hear a lot of talk about the importance of innovation, but too often people walk away not fully comprehending what it means or how it relates to them or how to make it actionable. At the same time, the ability to generate and sustain innovation has become an imperative for organizations as markets grow more global, open, and competitive, and as customer expectations grow more diverse and demanding. For our organizations to prosper, everyone must learn the skills to become active contributors toward innovation. Organizations must commit to innovation as a key strategy for success and expect and support everyone in the organization to be active contributors toward innovation. Our world demands a new perspective–a new brand–of innovation, one that is broader and more inclusive. Our world demands everyday innovation.

Everyday innovation occurs when everyone in an organization is actively and continuously supported, encouraged, and contributing toward the generation and implementation of new ideas and innovation of all types, from small to transformational, to improve our organizations and our world.

The Three Meanings of Every Why?
Everyone is contributing to innovation.  Including diverse perspectives will uncover better ideas. The potential of the outcomes we create expands as we actively include a diversity of perspectives. We cannot depend only on a select few departments for innovation in order to be successful. The next great idea may come from an unexpected source.
Every type of innovation is valued.  Innovation is scalable. The same principles apply to smaller innovations as well as breakthrough innovations. Smaller innovations may create a ripple effect that results in larger breakthroughs.
Every moment is an opportunity for innovation. Innovation cannot be scheduled. You should not merely “carve out” time for innovation. We need to continuously view our world and work through a lens of innovation.

Everyday innovation represents a systematic approach for building both the people and organizational capabilities needed to drive innovation. Everyday Innovation brings meaning and purpose to innovation by specifically defining and branding innovation to your unique needs and goals. It translates innovation into actionable terms through customizable plans that guide and enable you to meet and exceed your innovation goals. Everyday Innovation will help you view your world and your work through an “innovator’s lens” to create the outcomes and future you want.

Our world now demands that innovation be an ordinary aspect of our everyday work, for everyone. With everyone involved and contributing, along with proper organizational support, this ordinary aspect of our everyday work leads to extraordinary results.

As part of ISPI’s 2014 Performance Improvement Conference, EiQ ( will offer its highly interactive one-day workshop, which will equip you with methods and tools to help you demonstrate immediate and visible positive impact and results, and accomplish everyday innovation.

About the Authors

TerryFarmerTerry M. Farmer, PhD, is co-founder of EiQ. Terry has over 25 years of experience in the area of performance improvement, instructional design, strategy, and organizational development. He has held several internal consulting and leadership positions within several organizations across multiple industries including IBM, Ernst and Young, Rubbermaid Incorporated, The Walt Disney Company, Nationwide Insurance, and Eaton Corporation. Terry has a master’s degree and doctorate in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University.


XavierButteXavier Butte is co-founder of EiQ and has over 15 years of experience as a leader and strategic adviser focused on building individual and organizational performance capabilities. Xavier has held various leadership positions, including leading the Nationwide Performance Improvement Organization and the start-up of the Strategic Change Leadership function of the Business Transformation Office at Nationwide, also as director of Performance and Technology at Nationwide. Xavier has a master’s degree from the Fisher College of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from The Ohio State University.

Stay on top of your field and register ( for the Performance Improvement event of the year, THE Performance Improvement Conference ( Held this coming April in Indianapolis, Indiana. See this Educational Session ( and others.