Innovation is particularly important in challenging times, because it is those businesses that can draw on a more diverse range of knowledge, move at speed and introduce new ideas quickly that will be best placed to survive.
There is no hard and fast rule to getting it right, though it usually involves a combination of a supportive culture and having people who are both willing and able to try new things. A new study sheds light on another specific quality that can help: integrative thinking.
This involves drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, often beyond your own area of expertise, and combining them. Think architects employing biomimicry or a private bank taking marketing lessons from luxury goods companies.