Innovation is vital for business. It keeps companies at the forefront of new developments, enabling them to exploit new markets much faster and stay ahead of their competition.
Innovation helps companies adapt and evolve to survive and grow. In many cases, innovation happens by the need to solve customer problems or pursue new opportunities.
Here are few ways to create a more innovative business.
Create A Culture Of Innovation:
Innovation is such a buzzword these days.
Marketers, graphic designers, and other “creative” types were used to being called on to innovate, which sometimes leads to stale ideas. Don’t limit innovation to key execs or the “usual suspects.”
Some of the most innovative ideas may come from your frontline employees—after all, employees are the ones who engage with your customers, product, or service every day.
Recruit innovative people:
If a business is to innovate, it needs innovative people.
When hiring new staff to bring an element of creativity to the team look for candidates who see things differently will bring perspective to the business
During interviews, look for evidence of diversity and any unusual aspects of their education, leisure activities, and outside interests. Research has shown that a diverse workforce helps businesses become more innovative and more successful.
Begin with your customers:
Don’t innovate for innovations’ sake. You can get sidetracked if you come up with what you think is an idea for a better widget without ever considering whether customers want a better widget conduct customer surveys, focus groups, and market research to find customer pain points and dissatisfactions. Listen to what customers are saying on social media to get insights into what they want. Figure out what gaps exist in their lives that your products or services could fill or how you could innovate to serve customers better.
Stop Focusing On Products And Services:
Any company can hinder innovation when it defines itself in terms of its products and services. Think instead of your assets and strategic skills, and build those into your core competencies. In terms of your assets, you allow your employees the freedom to utilize their skills to provide solutions rather than boxing them into a fixed format. – Lianne Lyne, PLP Coaching, LLC
Embrace innovative business technology:
New technology presents innovative opportunities for businesses that engage with it. Embracing technology can be as simple as creating an online store, moving paper-based systems to the cloud, or implementing new payment methods – small changes that will reduce costs, improve efficiencies and drive further innovation within the organization.
To be innovative, you need to be creative. Nothing kills creativity like fear of being wrong. Create environments where failing and wrong are celebrating. One social media consultancy has a “Church of Fail” that applauds people for sharing how they failed and what they learned from it. By celebrating mistakes and failures, you are allowing people to be more creative and thus more innovative. – Julia M. Winston, Brave Communication
Flip Your Assumptions:
We all have things we do with our eyes shut. It’s part of what makes us excel at our jobs but also part of what blinds us to opportunities. Over the day, identify all the tasks you do without thinking a moment to talk about how you could do them differently. Sometimes it won’t work (spell check might always be the best way to proofread your work). However, it will often lead you to find a new way of doing the same old thing.
Assign ownership and execute:
People get excited about new ideas, but without a champion to see them through, ideas often die on the vine after the initial glow of the brainstorming session fades. Make sure each innovation has someone responsible for planning the next steps and following through on action items. Regularly assess your progress toward innovation goals and whether they’re worth pursuing or whether it’s time to stop.