What does it take to be an innovator? It’s not just about coming up with new ideas and implementing them; you also have to be able to communicate your concepts and bring them to life in a way that will be valued and accepted by your company and the marketplace.
First, what is innovation?
Innovation is the process of bringing something new into existence. It’s about creating new ideas and concepts, which can lead to new products and services, better ways of doing things, or even completely new businesses.
Why is innovation important in business?
For many companies, innovation is a key driver of success. It’s what allows them to stay on top of the competition, thrive in changing markets, and succeed in new business ventures. But for all its importance, innovation is often difficult to execute. Companies don’t always know how best to approach it, or how they can foster it within their organizations and teams.
In this blog, we’ll talk about some of the ways you can drive and maximize innovation in your company. But first, let’s define the four key types of innovation.
Types of Innovation
There are four types of innovation that can be applied in your business:
- Incremental innovation is the process of making small changes to an existing product, such as making a small modification or addition. This type of change usually does not require a lot of money or resources and is often done as an experiment. Incremental innovation can lead to significant breakthroughs if it’s carried out over a long period of time, because even tiny changes eventually add up.
- Evolutionary innovation is the process of improving on what already exists. For example, if you have an app that has 10 million downloads, you could make it easier for people by adding more features or working on getting more exposure for the app.
- Revolutionary innovation is a complete overhaul of an existing idea or service. It is sometimes referred to as disruptive innovation, which means that the new idea changes something fundamental about the way things were previously done. For example, Apple was able to disrupt mobile phones when they came out with their iPhone model.
- Transformational innovation is when you come up with something entirely new and radically different than what existed before.
Now that we understand the four types of innovation, how may we bring it into the workplace?
How to Foster Innovation in the Workplace
Leading with innovation requires building processes that support innovation in your organization. This means creating an environment where people feel comfortable taking risks because they know they will not be punished for doing so. It means fostering a culture of empowerment so everyone feels like they have a voice and can make their opinions heard without fear of repercussions or judgment from above.
Step One: Provide a Vision for Change
The first step in driving innovation is providing a clear vision of what needs to change and why it is important. People will not have the motivation needed to innovate unless they know why they should be doing so and where they are going with their ideas. It is important for leaders to provide that direction and explain why it matters.
Step Two: Establish an Environment That Supports Innovation
The second step in driving innovation is establishing an environment that supports creative thinking and effective problem-solving. Innovative employees are happy when they feel valued, challenged, engaged, and connected to the organization.
Step Three: Foster Communication and Collaboration
The third step in driving innovation is fostering communication and collaboration among teams across the organization. Employees need input from those different perspectives to come up with innovative solutions. Leaders need to make sure there is an open dialogue between departments and encourage employees to share best practices from other industries.
Step Four: Encourage Thoughtful Risk-Taking
The fourth step in driving innovation is encouraging thoughtful risk-taking as opposed to reckless decisions. When individuals feel safe enough to take risks, they will come up with more innovative ideas that push boundaries, break rules, and explore unknown territories. And successful innovations usually happen because someone took a chance on something that did not seem worth the risk at first glance!
Step Five: Create a Culture That Celebrates Failure
The fifth step in driving innovation is creating a culture where failure is not stigmatized but instead encouraged as learning opportunities.
5 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Innovating
When leading with innovation, it is inevitable that errors will be made and things will go wrong — that is the price of creativity. However, there are a few common pitfalls that can be avoided when implementing your new innovation processes.
- Not having a plan – It is important to know what the end goal is, who will be involved, how long it will take, and other factors that need to be taken into account for this process. These details can affect how innovation is approached, especially if there is not a clear goal or strategy in place from the start.
- Failing to think about benefits – When coming up with new ideas and concepts, it is important not only to focus on what could go wrong but also what could go right. What would your idea do for your customers? What problems would it solve? And why is your idea better than what already exists? Considering the potential advantages of an innovative idea goes hand-in-hand with understanding its risks, which means you’re better prepared for any challenges that might come up along the way.
- Ignoring feedback – Customer feedback can be very valuable in determining whether or not a product or service will succeed. Sometimes people will not tell you their honest opinion out of fear of offending someone else, so talking to them directly (either through surveys or interviews) may provide more accurate feedback than relying on data alone.
- Trying to do everything yourself – Innovation involves bringing something new into existence – so do not try doing everything by yourself! That said, it is okay to assign different tasks to different employees. That way each person is responsible for his or her own area of expertise rather than trying to juggle multiple jobs at once.
- Being overly critical – While brainstorming sessions should encourage creativity and open discussion, sometimes being too critical can discourage others from participating. Give everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts without shutting down anything too quickly because you feel like it is not worth pursuing.
Leading with innovation means more than just having an idea or taking the first step. It is about creating the right environment, processes and structures that allow you to bring your ideas to life.
If you are not innovating, then you are falling behind, however, innovation is easier said than done. It often requires you to collaborate with others, overcome resistance from stakeholders, and invest valuable time and resources into fostering a culture that encourages and celebrates innovation. But the end result can make the difference between your organization’s success or failure.
To learn more about how BOLD Change can help your organization become an industry leader in fostering innovation, please reach out to us through our contact page at www.boldchange.net or call our toll-free number at 1.888.233.5160.