Resilient companies adapt by practicing innovation. This is important if you want to stay operational despite drastic changes in the business landscape. But is your company ready to push innovation? In this article, you’ll learn 4 practices on how to bring innovation to a company.
2020 struck businesses hard when the global pandemic happened. Revenues of businesses were halted because they had to stop business operations. My business is affected just the same. But instead of letting the situation stop me, I reframed my mindset. I shifted my focus to see the opportunities.
Once you know how to bring innovation to a company, you can get through any market climate or economic condition. Here are some ideas on how to bring innovation to a company.
You don’t have to make leapfrog products that revolutionize an entire industry to be considered innovative. In fact, that’s counterproductive. This mindset is hindering your chance to take a shot on innovation.
But there is another way to introduce innovation to a company, and it’s way simpler. It’s called incremental innovation.
Incremental innovation is a series of small improvements that are applied into your products, services, and business processes. This way, you’re able to test what the market wants without making a lot of changes in what they already love.
Innovation doesn’t have to be always about your products or services. There is always a way to improve your business processes. Reducing a five-step approach to a 4-step process can lessen the friction in your company. Which means more time to be productive and do what you actually love.
Eliminate Fear Of Failure
People might often find themselves holding their tongue when they have some crazy idea. They want to share it, but they are doubtful as to how others will accept it. They fear being judged and failing.
If your company shuts down ideas fast, you don’t benefit from the potential innovation that can happen. Innovative ideas seem crazy at first. But if you let it sink in, you can improve upon the seed idea. Later on, this crazy idea seems more logical as time goes on.
As the famous quote attributed by Henry Ford, “If I asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses.”
At the time, a motorized form of transportation that gets people from point A to point B faster may not seem logical. People only wanted the idea of faster horses because they are not aware of what is possible.
Had Henry Ford, shut down this idea, they could still be in horse carriages. So don’t discourage crazy ideas for innovation. Eliminate the fear of failure in your company.
Freedom – 15% Time For Creativity
Innovation does not happen idly. This requires a lot of mental space for creativity. You can bring this to your company by giving your team members the ability to work on their own projects. Freedom to do whatever they want.
One famous example is 3M. They allow employees to work on their personal projects 15% of their time. They are still being paid while they pursue the activities that fuel their creativity. Today, it’s a billion dollar company that has more than 22,800 patents. Most of which came from the 15% creativity time.
Now, this is only one example. If you feel like 15% is a huge amount of time that might be wasted, consider the fact that employees only work productively for about 2 hours and 53 minutes per day. Your company will benefit more from giving your employees enough time and space to pursue innovative ideas.
Cultivate A Culture Of Innovation: Start With Yourself
As a business owner, you are setting examples for your employees. If you want to learn how to bring innovation to a company, start leading by example. You can do the above steps to guide your team towards innovation.
Look for incremental improvements in your business processes. You can also give feedback to the team on how they can improve their process.
To eliminate the fear of failure, don’t turn down a crazy pitch right off the bat. Consider its possibilities and if it seems outrageous, encourage your employee to reflect on it more.
Create a culture of innovation by allowing yourself to work on side projects which stimulates your thinking. This will inspire your people to follow your example. And when they do, you can expect that they will work with their blood, sweat, and tears to help your business win.
Final Thoughts On How To Bring Innovation To A Company
With these steps, I know you gained some actionable steps on how to bring innovation to a company. It’s not always easy to innovate. But if you don’t, you will soon realize that you’re becoming obsolete.
As I always say, there are two kinds of companies: the quick and the dead. The quick are resilient and are always looking for ways to serve their market better. The dead became comfortable living with the status quo.
Start bringing innovation into your company by applying what you learned in this article.