Companies, much like individuals, don’t benefit from remaining static, especially given the rapid pace of change in the world around them.
Think of a staple brand (Netflix, Amazon, even your refrigerator manufacturer) and then compare the current operations of that organization to its origin. More often than not, the shifts in their process, product, and perspective are responsible for their continued relevance in our lives.
In an ideal world, organization executives would be managing a flood of new ideas from employees, finding the ones with merit, and then putting them into practice in their business strategy. Unfortunately, for many companies, that idea flood looks more like a firmly closed faucet or, if they’re lucky, a leaky one.
There are several layers to the innovation management process, beginning with the fostering of an environment where a new idea is encouraged.
In this article, we’re going to show an overview of the most common ways to leverage business innovation and offer tips on how to get the most out of them.
5 ways to Drive Business Innovation In A Competitive Landscape
1. Building a strong team
There is nothing quite like the power of a strong team. Leading a team that works fluidly together increases work efficiency and morale among employees.
Inspiring your colleagues through positive leadership and creating a cohesive team working towards common goals will foster an environment of positive change. Motivated team members will more successfully collaborate with changes, positively improving your business, both at a personal and professional level.
2. Fast reactions to new trends
There are always new trends emerging which are shaking up the business world. New advancements in technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning, for example, are now being used by many organizations to keep up with the increasing demand for services. What will be next?
Being able to understand new trends and even predict which will emerge in the future will help you drive positive change within any organization. Whether it’s new trends in the way we work, like the increase in freelance workers, or new trends in products or services, such as a more customer-based approach, next-generation professionals have to understand and use these trends to foster both successful and effective change.
3. Internal webinars
Another strategy to drive innovation throughout a company is internal webinars. They can be scheduled on a regular basis to keep all business units up to date on a variety of topics, ongoing and completed innovation projects, advances in the company’s innovation strategy, new innovative tools being adopted within the company, calls for ideas, etc.
Creating a culture of innovation within a company should be a vital part of one’s innovation strategy. Recurring internal webinars help place innovation on the minds of everyone within a company, not just the innovation department. Indeed, employees outside of the innovation department already have a full-time role within the company. Thus, innovation isn’t typically a priority for them. Webinars take less time than innovation days and are easier to organize. They can happen more frequently and therefore keep innovation at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Internal webinars can serve as a means to present recent successes and current challenges. This, in turn, could also lead to suggestions and ideas coming from other teams. Of course, you can adopt this strategy in different formats. HP Labs uses newsletters, informal coffee talks, and peer reviews to share information on its latest innovation developments with its teams.
4. Decentralised innovation
Unlike the other strategies in this article, this one involves structural change. Indeed, while it’s quite common now for corporates to create a centralized innovation system (e.g. through innovation departments), another option is decentralization. Instead of having one department focused on innovation, it might be more beneficial for each business unit within your structure to be responsible for its own innovation efforts. This is especially the case if your business units have significantly different innovation needs.
5. Innovative days
Innovation days provide several benefits. Corporations typically use them to find innovative solutions to ongoing problems or come up with new products. Furthermore, innovation days are also a way to embrace an open innovation strategy. They involve multiple players (internal and/or external) working together to create innovative solutions.