While innovation does not work like a magic spell, it can bring a brilliant breakthrough in the company's development. Gaining a competitive advantage, reducing costs or the market success of a product or service are just some of the benefits of conscious innovation management. Learn the types and strategies for the development of innovation and learn how to develop innovation in your company.
Innovations are implemented not only to revolutionize the market but also to improve existing processes and products. And, of course, benefit from it. Most often associated with technological development, innovation also applies to many other aspects of the business. There are 4 main types of innovation:
Product and service innovation - the introduction of completely new products and services or a significant change of the existing ones.
Process innovations - mainly related to the implementation of more efficient production and delivery methods. This category also includes changes in device and software technology.
*Organizational innovations - changes in the business strategy and the operating principles adopted by the company.
Marketing innovations - introducing new marketing solutions (new for a given company, but not necessarily for the entire market).
It is up to each company not only to decide in which areas it will be innovated but also in what way. Although researchers define them differently, there are 4 main strategies for managing innovation:
Proactive - used by high-risk companies that are usually market leaders. They undertake radical and ground-breaking changes, and their innovations are incremental, which means that they are constantly supposed to lead to better performance. The flagship example of such a business model is Apple.
Active - means being ready to react quickly and defending existing technologies by improving them. Eg British Airways.
Reactive - the company observes and implements innovations already tested by others, thus achieving a low level of risk. An example is Ryanair, which was "inspired" by the Southwest Airlines self-service model
Passive - the companies applying it will not introduce innovations until customers request them and indicate what needs to be changed.
Without committed employees who are open to problem-solving - it's hard to innovate. Top leaders use various methods to promote and develop innovation in their companies. Some of them are:
Why is innovation important to your business? What can they influence? How can I help? Constantly emphasize the role of innovation and inform employees about it. You can also apply a system of rewarding or rewarding innovative ideas that have been implemented.
This is a concept known since the 1970s, the assumption of which is to maintain an organizational culture that encourages employees to be entrepreneurial within the company (instead of starting their businesses). This includes, for example, encouraging bottom-up initiatives and proactivity, ensuring flexibility in tasks and the possibility of taking risks. To encourage intrapreneurship, you can implement the 'no idea is a bad idea' rule, provide them with support and the opportunity to test their ideas, and be sure to let them know to whom they can present their ideas.
**A break for the head **
Forcing constant effort is not the best solution if you need innovative ideas. William McKnight, who coined the "Fifteen-percent time" principle, knew it. It assumes that employees can spend 15% of the paid time "resting for the head" - drawing, playing on the console, talking, or thinking about things that are not necessarily related to work. A short break supports creativity and gives space for new ideas to emerge.
Rewarding initiatives (not only successes)
Nothing kills creativity more than failure. Fortunately, attitudes towards failure can be changed, for example by rewarding each initiative implemented, regardless of whether it turns out to be a success. Celebrating failures is another solution that encourages employees to experiment. Reward trying, not just success.
Many leaders admit that discussing people with different views and specializations helps them solve problems innovatively. You can easily plan brainstorming sessions with employees from different departments as regular meetings. It is worth not only sharing ideas on each of them but also asking questions that effectively lead to innovative solutions.
"Improvement", which is always the goal of innovation, can in practice bring benefits such as reducing costs, increasing quality, increasing sales, but also increasing productivity and improving customer (or employee) satisfaction. If you only associate the "innovative company" with technological giants - you are wrong. In practice, this term applies to both large corporations and small enterprises. Often the innovative change can be single and relatively small. The very improvement of the software in the online store to be more user-friendly can be an innovation that will bring benefits such as a significant increase in sales or a change in the perception of the brand by consumers.
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