How to inject a dose of innovation into your company
It would only stand to reason that a smaller, more agile company should be best positioned to create the most groundbreaking ideas. Well, this isn’t necessarily so. Deficient in several key ingredients, such as money for R & D, available staff, and a lack of vision that big companies can make happen, small businesses are finding that their challenge lies in learning to innovate in spite of, and sometimes because of these facts.
A recent study by Erik Hurst and Benjamin Wild Pugsley of the University of Chicago called What do Small Businesses Do? discovered that fewer than 50 percent of new business startups were born from a new idea. Furthermore, they learned that the majority of new businesses are essentially more of the same, offering one more coffee shop, bakery, or tax service to a marketplace bursting with these services. Not much innovation, greater competition, and little chance at exponential growth. So what does it take for a small business to go from the ordinary to a business that is leading innovative ideas in their space?
4 Tips for developing a culture of innovation in your business!
1- Encourage innovation – Rewarding your employees with tangible incentives for helping to implement new and innovative initiatives is an easy way to help launch your company’s venture into innovation. Try to create a buzz around uncovering new and better ways to conduct business and improve products and services.
2- Understand your markets’ needs and desires – Keep abreast of current trends and ideas in your market. Make sure to be hooked into all the news and views that are affecting your organization, and take action on what you hear and see!
3- Connect with existing customers – As a way to truly know what may be a great idea for your customer, you need to talk to them. And more than that, you need to keep the conversation around the customer’s problems and shape your recommendations to provide those answers!
4- Be open to new ideas – Don’t be reluctant to try something totally new.
A great demonstration of this in action is Behance.net, a Web-based platform for creative works, where artists can display their work irrespective of their resumes, hoping to turn more ideas into reality.