Everyone seems to be an innovation expert these days. Without clearly understanding what innovations are, what means to be innovative and understanding the whole process, it is easy to get confused and go the wrong way. Innovations have a huge impact on your business, therefore it is important to have a systematic approach to the entire innovation process. Most people think that they should come up with these cool new game-changer-moves and that’s the way to do innovations right. But there is more to innovation than that. Once you understand innovation, it is easier for you to implement innovation processes in your strategy on all levels. First things first, let’s understand them better.
Be sure to understand innovations first
Before we discuss the importance of innovations further, let’s see what they are, because very often they get confused with inventions, creativity, shiny new things and cool gadgets. You do need a new idea, you do need something new, a discovery or an invention, or a new way of doing something, but to innovate is to create commercial value for both your business and your customers. So that’s the catch, translate that idea into value for different stakeholders, consumers being one of them. Innovative solutions can result in more satisfied customers which can further lead to creating a stronger relationship with them. Innovations also help your business attract new customers since you will be offering them a supreme solution for the satisfaction of their needs, that no other business does. The value created for your business could be in the form of financial gains, a competitive advantage, more market share and so on, we’ll get to that soon.
You’ve probably also heard about the terms incremental and radical innovations, so we should explain those as well in a couple of words. The first refers to improvements of existing products, services or processes. Making something better, faster, for less money and so on, and resulting in increased efficiency and effectiveness. The latter refers to revolutionary new technologies, business models, even whole industries that haven’t existed before, which often disrupt the existing system. One type does not exclude the other, they actually affect one another quite often. You also have a wide array of levels of innovations in-between these two opposites, so the opportunities to innovate are big.
Benefits of innovations for your business
No matter the industry, it is not a question whether you should be innovative or not, it’s simply an imperative. The opportunities for your business are all around you. You can start with baby steps, improving existing products, or services or the processes you may be using. Maybe reorganize your workspace and your team to boost innovations. Encourage your employees to engage and enrich the innovation process with their ideas. Start acting like an innovator.
These are the tangible and intangible benefits of innovations when it comes to your business:
Having something to offer that nobody else has will bring you a competitive advantage and make you stand out. With innovations, you will gain a better position on the market and become more relevant. By continuously innovating, you will be able to protect this position and always be able to stay ahead of the competition. An innovative approach will provide your business with the agility and adaptability it needs for keeping up with the dynamic and ever-changing environment it is in.
It is important to understand your existing and potential customers as well. Your job is to create a more supreme way to meet consumers’ needs, and satisfying them more successfully than the competition. Sometimes the consumers themselves are not aware of their needs and wants, and it is up to you to come up with something that will spark a desire in them to buy your new product or service. Innovations will open the door to new ways of satisfying customer’s needs, and bring you a bigger piece of the market share because you will be able to attract new customers and keep the existing one, creating an even stronger and more loyal relationship.
Introducing innovations and applying new technologies will enable you to achieve more with less, leading to higher productivity levels. This will further lead to additional profit. Direct and indirect financial benefits are the result of innovations. Profitability means more money to invest and more money for growth, hence new job positions. Growth takes place not only on the business level but also on the whole economy level, resulting in higher wages, higher living standards and over-all improved well-being.
Attract and keeping the right people
Innovative companies are better ranked among job seekers. So, if you are an innovative company you will have the advantage of not only attracting more people but more qualified ones. Creating and nurturing an innovative culture and encouraging your team to participate will result in a happier workforce, where people feel more appreciated and are more motivated to contribute. Innovations also result in enhanced skills because your employees will have a chance to learn something new and create new connections during the innovation process. The happier workforce also means a higher retention rate which indirectly improves your image in the eyes of the customers.
So, what are you waiting for? Start ASAP with your own innovation process and contact Innovation Cloud for all support and assistance you need! Together, we’ll make sure that you are always one idea ahead!