A business that is not recognising the importance of innovation in their product and service range, or in their business processes is a business in decline.
Keeping up with the latest technology, changing customer demands, and how your organisation can keep innovating to reduce environmental and social impacts is the difference between a business that will survive and thrive year to year, decade to decade and one that will not.
Charles Darwin once said, The species that survived were not the most intelligent “ they were the most adaptable to change.
The pace of change is increasing, are you keeping up, or is your business in an innovation rut?
This blog will explore what might be preventing innovation in your business and what you need to put into place to get fresh ideas over the line.
What's hindering your innovation goals?
Recognising the factors that are preventing innovation from happening in your business will enable you to overcome them, and build a culture of innovation within your organisation which will therefore help your business keep up with customer demand and become more successful.
Courage in Leadership
Leaders who are not open to new ideas can negatively impact your team. Discouraging creative routes or ideas to innovation can lead to employees becoming less motivated, and less likely to speak up the next time they have an idea. Opportunities are also lost by leaders who do listen to new ideas but do not have the courage to take them further.
Team buy-in is one of the common themes that differentiates ideas that work from those that don't. Leaders need to ensure that innovation is built into the mission of their organisation with the right incentives, targets, and budgets available.
It's important to remember that innovation will require courage, a willingness to experiment, and teamwork, all of which need to be led by example from those at the top of the organisation.
The right resourcing
Is your team incentivised in the right way to offer new ideas? If your company doesn't have an innovation mindset and the right processes to bring them to light, it could deter employees with an already busy work schedule from bringing new ideas for change forward.
Having a dedicated innovation budget, and a team responsible for pushing innovation through will ensure there is enough time and resources available to take ideas forward. This team should deal with any associated risk and work to get sign-off from stakeholders to put ideas into action.
Your answers may also lie outside your organisation. Keeping abreast of the innovators and startups that have the technologies that can transform your industry and having the willingness and ability to collaborate with these startups could be the key to unlocking your next big break.
Expectations of ROI
The return on innovation investment may take months or even years to see. Having a short-term focus when it comes to seeing change or an immediate return on investment is the wrong approach.
For a team to make the most of the resources invested into new ideas, technology and processes, leadership must take a long-term view and understand the nature of innovation. This will encourage those making these changes to feel motivated and valued, and lead to more thorough work.
Innovation requires creativity, but it also requires direction and process. Being strategic about where your company focuses time and money is vital.
This is where companies can come undone after investing in the wrong ideas that do not support overall company strategy or recognise the importance of a customer-centered approach. Innovation management and structure is needed in order to ensure the right ideas are being prioritised and time and resource is not wasted.
The final step
You've spent the time and money to get to that crucial final step to begin to engrain the new service, product, or innovation into your business. Having all the above in order will help ensure you generate a profitable return from your innovative ideas.
Having that all-important plan for scaling the innovation as well as making a case for the return on investment for each department as demonstrated through the pilot phase will help each team understand how it will work for them.