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This week’s focus: There have been over 200 EVAs  – spacewalks and moonwalks – over the years. The first was by a Russian over 50 years ago, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin carried out the most famous EVA during the first moon landing in 1969.

The newsworthiness of EVAs has since fallen down the pecking orders here in the UK. Until last week that is, when Tim Peake became the first Briton to carry out an EVA on the International Space Station. Peake’s achievement led the TV news on all the major channels, was on the front page of most newspapers and was the main subject of a series of BBC Stargazing Live programmes.

Innovation doesn’t only happen when a business becomes the first to apply a creative new approach. It also happens when an existing approach is first applied in a new market. Peake’s achievement wasn’t new – it’s over half a century old – but it was new for the UK. Similarly, Ryanair’s low fare business model in Europe was a copy of Southwest Airline’s successful approach in the US, just as B&Q’s big store growth in the 1990s borrowed from the success of the US retailer, Home Depot.

As TS Eliot once wrote, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” What ideas could you steal from other markets to create innovation for your business? You never know, it could become big news.

Off the record: Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones

Space travel’s in my blood

There ain’t nothing I can do about it

Long journeys wear me out

But I know I can’t live without it

© Stuart Cross 2016. All rights reserved.