Every company understands the need to innovate in order to react to the ever changing landscape of today´s business world and markets. How come then that some companies are really good at it and others aren’t? For some companies, innovation seems to be a luxury, one that they can´t or don´t want to afford. For others, it seems to be that buzz word that great idea which – if leveraged effectively – helps to surpass competitors in a heartbeat. But innovation is more – and most of all, it is more complex.
From strategy via culture to processes
Innovation is generally held to be a catalyst to growth brought about by positive changes in efficiency, customer satisfaction, productivity, quality, competitiveness, market share, or market reinvention. But how does one innovate? Many companies feel that innovation should be deeply embedded in their strategy and operations planning. The endeavor of creating new realities, uncontested markets, value innovation and differentiation shifts has to be well thought through and planned out – that much is clear. But even the most effective innovation strategy cannot go anywhere if the culture and the climate in the organization do not support overall creativity, open-mindedness and motivation to successfully implement the new strategy. After all in trying to break from status quo to reach new and exciting grounds, internal as much as external hurdles have to be overcome. Tipping point leadership and supporting processes are as crucial to the success of implementing the new strategic shift as thoroughly understanding what that shift is actually about.
A race without a finish line
Anybody who thinks about innovation will soon understand that it is actually a race without a finish line: Once you start implementing, the real work is just about to begin. The notion of innovation has to be sustained over time. People need to be sincerely motivated and show on-going commitment to improve the standards and demonstrate the underlying values of the undergone changes. All that to, in due time, start the process all over again.
How much innovation can a company take?
Be warned: there is only that much innovation a company can take. For a company to remain vital, vibrant and showing healthy and sustainable growth there needs to be a delicate balance between exploring new grounds and benefitting from the established set-ups.
Now what’s up with your innovation?