Innovation remains one of the hottest buzzwords in the business industry and a mystery to corporate leaders. It is a big challenge to implement change that pays off. According to a recent report by Accenture, less than one in every five business owners believe it has positively impacted their operations with a relevant outcome. Targeted education and awareness are vital to getting business leaders on board.
Australian businesses that have adopted modernization report significant increases in dynamism, productivity and consequently, profitability. Innovation does not require you to reinvent the wheel. A contemporary strategy encompasses breakthrough ideas, strategic collaborations with well-established firms and a conducive work environment where everyone participates in decision making. It works best when incorporated into the business plan and corporate culture.
Chief executives are mandated with the responsibility of driving adoption through incentives and an open policy that rewards participation. This encourages frequent and inspired trials at new ways of doing things. How can you inject innovation into your small business DNA? Let us look at several tips to get you started on the journey to enhance innovation performance.
1. Communicate your ideas openly
Invite people to share thoughts freely and take steps to implement them. Encourage bold trials as opposed to perfectionism. This enables the cross-fertilization of a diverse range of ideas and proposed solutions. Avoid talking about it and doing little to implement. Inspire ongoing discussions about improvements in processes, products, and services.
2. Instill a sense of ownership
This aligns the individual interests with business goals. It inspires employees to go well and beyond the call of duty to ensure success. Give people the freedom to change processes that they feel will have a significant impact on the way they work.
3. Value feedback
Establish robust feedback mechanisms that ensure you are in touch with diverse customer requirements and values. This includes employees who constantly interact with clients as well as online engagement platforms. Customer feedback presents an excellent opportunity for a business to improve service delivery as well as the value of the product offering. Tap into your business networks and align new ideas to the company mission.
4. Follow emerging trends
Numerous industry reports demonstrate the impact of new trends. They also give insights into what the competition is doing to achieve results. For example, use technology to evaluate the social media trends of your target market group. Refine your communication channels and content accordingly.
5. Leverage technology
Technology serves the primary goal of accelerating processes while increasing flexibility and productivity. Empower your business to thrive through electronic accounting, scalable cloud-based services, customer relationship platforms as well as exploiting the mobile revolution. An improvement in business processes injects efficiency, accelerates time to market for core products and helps develop new business.
6. Improve innovation performance through collaboration
The initial steps on the value-creating drive are critical. Established and big companies have more resources and flexibility. For example, it is reported that Google allows employees up to twenty percent of their work time to develop new ideas and projects. Establish strategic collaborations with big firms that enable you to leverage their successes to transform your small business operations positively.
7. Reduce bureaucracy and unproductive processes
Unproductive systems impede innovation. Small businesses have an advantage as they employ less sophisticated systems. Faster implementation accelerates performance and drives more adoption. Save time and effort by eliminating old processes. It also inspires employees to maintain a progressive and optimistic attitude.
A great way to ensure sustainable business growth is to embrace and foster innovation. Andrew Charlton, a renowned economist, author and the co-founder of AlphaBeta Strategies & Economics, suggests unleashing the creativity of your people. Teach them to identify unique opportunities and build a strategy of constant reinvention to drive growth. Inspire the whole workforce and strive to align individual goals with business objectives.