Rethink Your Strategy to Innovate Inexpensively
“Innovation” is a term that organizations once reserved for disruptive startups looking to shake a specific industry to its traditional core. From there, the term went mainstream as conventional companies, confronting digital transformation, realized that innovation might make the difference between profitable growth or outright failure.
These days it is hard to find an executive who doesn’t promise stakeholders that they are “leaders” in digital innovation. But what does that mean, exactly? The truth is that many companies avoid genuine innovation for fear of making potentially complex changes without producing measurable results.
But companies are starting to think through how revising their strategy can remove innovation roadblocks.
One option is to start small with internal changes that have limited scope and that deliver prompt solutions. This approach can reduce costs while avoiding disruption and waste. Innovation leaders have found that effective implementation often comes by way of creating in-house incubators, including research and development, and by modifying employee relationships and behaviors. Whether it is streamlining processes, removing production blocks, or boosting employee effectiveness, focusing on operational efficiency is the shortest route to higher profits.
However, I’ve seen digital transformation initiatives fail because the focus was on technology, at the exclusion of the talent behind the project. Successful business outcomes are achieved when there is an investment made in great experiences for both customers and employees.
Nurturing the workforce goes beyond providing the right tools and training. A competitive compensation and rewards structure is vital. Beyond this, team members should understand how they fit into a larger enterprise picture that connects their performance to customer satisfaction. Once your staff feels it has a stake in your success, it becomes more receptive to working in exciting new ways. A great example is the use of bimodal IT methodologies. This form of internal competition only works if you have employees who trust each other—and the enterprise.
Internal collaboration and communication tools are imperative to keeping employees and teams in the loop with new developments and company business activities. Staying in the loop also requires facetime with all employees, whether they are on site or remote. Having video conference tools or webinar training is key to bringing together a remote or dispersed workforce so that participants can discuss business activities and manage projects.
Understanding the need for transparency, efficiency, and, most importantly, delivery helps teams become agile and enables employees to work smarter, faster—which can lead to innovating inexpensively.
Regardless of the industry you are in, innovation is no longer an option but a necessary requirement for brands and companies looking to stand out and lead the charge. Keeping up with changing trends, customer expectations, and various economic scenarios is a must. Legacy companies must consistently assess areas of the business where innovations are needed.
Albert Einstein put it best when he said, “You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.”