If you and your management team are not actively engaged in some form of ‘innovation’ the chances are that the business will decline and die in the not too distant future. Such is the pace of change.
Traditional sectors, where historically there has not been a culture of innovation, are particularly at risk.
Innovation initiatives can take many forms:
- Continuous Improvement – small incremental upgrades/updates to processes, products or services
- New sales and marketing strategies
- New ways of hiring, up skilling, motivating and retaining your workforce
- Creating a more agile and flexible organisational structure to respond to a fast changing business landscape
- Responding to or anticipating fundamental changes in your sector as a result of disruptive technologies etc
- Instilling a new culture of innovation in your workforce, and a willingness to try out new ideas.
Leadership teams need to have an external focus and be constantly on the look out for threats and opportunities.
Organisationally a more decentralised and collaborate working environment is necessary, with a certain tolerance for ‘failure’ – not all new ideas will work.
Innovation ‘ideas’ can come from a wide variety of sources – employee suggestions, customer feedback, piggybacking on the ideas of others in the industry, pressure to become more efficient/eliminate waste or the advent of ground breaking/game changing new technologies.
Finally, there must be clarity of purpose and a clear future focused company vision, to which all employees subscribe, in order to make the right innovation calls.