Embracing the Importance of Innovation for your Business

Embracing the Importance of Innovation for your Business

Innovation. What does it really mean for your organisation? Let’s go literal to start. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as:

It’s all well and good defining innovation in an abstract sense, but what does the reality deliver on the ground? Innovation isn’t just some exciting drive towards robot waiters in our restaurants or delivery drones crowding our skies. Innovation is about finding better ways to operate in our business.  

What is the value of innovation?

According to a recent McKinsey & Company survey, over 70% of top executives cite innovation as a major catalyst for growth. The ability to improve processes and products presents the opportunity to not only grow market share, but build bigger, more lucrative markets.

Belgian cinema chain Kinepolis offers an inspirational example of the benefits that innovation can generate. Operating in Belgium’s dwindling 1990s cinema marketplace, Kinepolis innovated towards success by building the world’s first megaplex cinema. Their new 7,600 seat monster-cinema resulted in rapidly gaining 50% market share at the same time as expanding overall market size by an additional 40%.

Innovation is an equally important driver of competitiveness. Don’t just take our word for it, international studies have revealed that in our modern, globally competitive economies, science-technology innovations can deliver sustainable competitiveness and long-term growth on a national scale.

Innovations such as e-procurement present a prime example; a technology that when adopted delivers business-wide savings and efficiency improvements that offer a sustainable competitive edge. So what steps do you need to take to embrace innovation in your business?

How to embrace a culture of innovation in your business

Innovation isn’t just about changing the way you work, it’s about changing the way you think. That means embracing innovation culture requires the comprehensive support of layers throughout your business.

Four steps to embrace innovation:

 

  • Ensure executive buy-in

 

Executive buy-in is the first step for any vital business change, and innovation is no exception. Change must be directed and supported from the top, that means ensuring executive and management buy-in is essential to successfully embrace innovation in a business

 

  • Maintain business communication

 

Executive support is the crucial first step, but communication between every layer of the business is vital for innovative practice. Innovation isn’t a one-time offer, it’s a continual process of evolving and adapting to better business processes and products. Keeping communication channels open and sharing information provides the best environment to steer that evolution towards success.

 

  • Make space for innovation

 

Supporting creative ideas is an important part of innovation. Give your staff room and opportunity to come up with creative ideas that might generate innovative merit. Not every idea will be achievable, but the only way achievable ideas will be realised is providing room for them to grow.

  • Understand your innovation journey

Innovation is broadly split into two categories; sweeping change and incremental improvements. The Kinepolis case study provides an example of a sweeping change, categorised by big investment, big risk, and a consequent big reward.

That’s just one way to embrace the opportunity of innovation. Not every company has the resources or opportunity to retire the horse by becoming the next Ford Motor Company. Incremental improvements through innovation still offer an essential competitive advantage to business.

Your next step to innovation

So what’s your next step? Open up discussion on the opportunity for innovation in your business. Ensure your executive team understand and support that potential. Communicate the possibilities through every layer of your business. Create space for those ideas to grow.

 

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