4 steps to successful innovation.
ILM article 2021
To thrive, businesses must keep innovating to attract and retain customers. A lack of innovation can result in outdated processes and an organisation that fails to satisfy.
Implementing an innovative culture within your organisation is easier said than done. So, instead of pushing change through at speed, transition your team slowly by taking a phased approach.
Where should you start? Follow these 4 steps and you’ll be on the way to successful innovation.
- Accept change
Change can be scary. Some people like to do things the way it has always been done. However, it’s not always the right way. An unwillingness to consider new opportunities and approaches can eventually cause an organisation to fall behind its competitors and eventually, fail.
Adapting to change is a necessity. Many businesses avoid using new technologies or ways of working because they are concerned about the risk of negative public attention, should things go wrong. But an aversion to doing things differently will prevent the business from developing and growing.
To help overcome this aversion, next time you review a new product or process, ask yourself the following questions:
- How does it create value for internal and external customers?
- How can we best deliver it?
- What support do our innovators need?
From here, take the next step with confidence.
- Look at yourself
When reviewing a new product or process, ask yourself this question: What can we do to improve?
It requires careful consideration to reflect on current systems and what they are lacking. Consider what the current method essentially does, why and how it’s done this way, when it’s done and for who. These answers can pinpoint some development opportunities and help you to find new ways of improving efficiency and effectiveness.
Put together a brainstorming session with your teammates to ask these fundamental questions and take a positive step towards change and increased performance which will help kickstart the innovation journey.
- Look at others
When reviewing a process, take a look at your competitors. How does their process differ from yours? How can you do it better? What can you learn from their way of doing things?
Innovation hubs have been designed to accommodate organisations and allow creative ideas to flow. Innovation hubs can act as a breeding ground for new development and enable organisations to learn fast.
Enabling a safe space for ideas helps to progress concepts that might typically be stifled within a ‘business as usual’ environment and provides autonomy for staff, encouraging multiple flows of information and creativity.
- Leading the way
It can take a long time for a new innovative idea to be adopted fully. Both internal and external barriers can hinder a project’s progress. Company culture and a reluctance to accept change influence this. External regulatory requirements can often slow the whole process down, in addition to financial and labour costs.
Organisations should collaborate with their internal teams and brief them throughout the process to ease team members into the idea of change. Involving them in the process gives them a sense of inclusion and makes them feel valued. This technique allows workers to truly understand the need and value of change.
Introducing the idea of innovation to a team that’s stuck in its old ways can be tough. But by taking a phased approach, including others and easing them into the process will lead to successful implementations. With experimentation and the use of innovation hubs, you will quickly realise the benefits of innovation from both a strategic and financial perspective.