Innovation is a tricky word. In its simplest form, innovation is about taking something that already exists and making it better. In an era where we measure success with hockey sticks and unicorns, however, innovation is often conflated with the concept of disruption. And, while that may be attractive for investors and trendwatchers, true disruption doesn’t always make things better.
That’s why at Hershey we think about innovation beyond the introduction of new products and more as part of a larger framework of experimentation that begins with our investment in people and capabilities and borrows the best practices from other industries to work with both agility and scale.
The Innovation Paradox
Business culture has been dominated in the last decade by the concept of disruptive innovation. We all know the stories of companies like Uber and Lyft and Airbnb who achieved success by being fundamentally different than the existing market. Their collective success is attractive and revolutionary because of their impact for the consumer. We celebrate their entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. However, there is a cost. Often disruption in a traditional industry is so severe that it actually becomes destructive.
We’re Makers, not Destroyers
Following the path originally set by Milton Hershey, as a company, we’re makers at heart. We pursue opportunities for growth by expanding in areas where we can do more. We seek places where we can leverage our existing strengths and expertise and develop new capabilities. We consider how we can operate on the leading edge, without straying from who we are at the core. That’s how we differentiate and grow from a place of purpose.
Over the coming months, you’ll hear more from our experts and gain insight into how Hershey thinks about innovation in a variety of areas including:
More importantly, we’ll give you a deeper look into who we are as a company and share with you a piece of ourselves. We’ll show how we embrace the entrepreneurial spirit we admire within others, and how its grounded in a growth mindset that is uniquely Hershey.