Everything is moving fast. It’s this time of the era that says you have to keep up or be left behind. While there is a price to pay for success, innovation has its advantages that belong to brands that want success gravely enough. Innovation is often associated with the introduction of new products or services in your business; however, it can also be about changing the way you do business.
Innovation embraces new uses of technologies, improved industry methods, meeting changing customer demands or needs, and better systems and processes. To be successful, innovation will need to be supported by you, your staff and all other business partners.
What are the Benefits of Innovation Systems?
The entire culture of innovation can change the phase and pace of your business. If you develop a focus on innovation in your business, you will ensure everyone in the business is working towards better business practices and improving business efficiency and performance.
Some of the other benefits include:
- increased competitiveness – higher efficiency with lower costs and higher quality products
- more efficient use of all resources
- improved staff retention – staff like to work in innovative and challenging jobs that promote teamwork and problem-solving
- a proactive approach to business – your business model is continually matching changing conditions
- a greater attraction of new customers by improving existing, or offering new, products or services or entering new markets
Your approach to innovation will be driven by your business strategy, capability, market understanding and commitment to the process. Often, these processes will add capacity to your business with little or no additional costs. Your business competitiveness and survival is directly linked to your ability to innovate.
Your employees are one of your most productive assets in your business. By creating an environment within your business that encourages innovative thinking and action you will inspire your employees to share their knowledge, experience, skills, suggestions and recommendations. Here are ten different ways you can look to create an innovative environment in your business:
- Practice a Culture of Innovation
Employees should be honest and open, encouraged to share ideas and able to explore initiatives without fear of retribution. There should be a recognition that not trying anything new is often the biggest risk.
- Hire Versatile Individuals
Hire people who have and share the same vision of innovation as yours. Look for employees who understand your vision and align with your culture but aren’t necessarily the same as you. Look for those that may have different perspectives, diverse backgrounds, passions, and capabilities. Having employees with an alternative set of ideas and problem-solving approaches will easily generate an innovative approach.
- Always Lead by Example
Be a good leader of the pack and set a good example. Be open and approachable to new ideas. Ensure that each employee is encouraged to share new ideas. This can be supported in numerous ways such as specific new ideas, meetings, suggestion boxes, suggestion area on the internal intranet, dedicated times and/or rooms. Many large companies often provided allocated time for their employees to break from routine roles to inspire new thoughts – this could be an employee retreat, allocated time each day or a day out of the office.
- Set a System
Ensure that there is a process which everyone understands for assessing each new idea. Employees will be encouraged to make suggestions and recommendations if they are confident that the idea will be appropriately considered. This must be supported by acknowledgement and feedback in a timely manner.
- Execute Right Away
Ideas can get stale or old so execute these right away. Where possible, implement ideas quickly. Employees will be extremely motivated to continue to share ideas, work towards the success of the idea and encourage productivity of other employees when they see that they are in fact influencing the direction of the business.
Implementing a genuine culture of teamwork and innovation is what will drive your business towards success. Embracing technological advancement and putting the right systems in place will ensure that the business vision is followed and that success will be trailing behind without you stressing too much about it.