Innovation is integral to the development and growth of a business.
Innovation doesn’t have to be fully transformative, it can be improving a small process or introducing new technology in the workplace. Innovation helps businesses stay updated, continually improving efficiency and productivity. Innovative businesses that seek to improve all aspects of their operations will be able to thrive against their competitors.
There are different types of innovation:
Product or Service: Enhancing or developing new or existing products or services or introducing new technologies that were not previously used.
Process: Improving the way various types of processes take place in the business. This could include financial systems, information and communications technology (ICT) or human resource management.
Marketing: The way products and services are promoted and the mediums of promotion.
Business model: Implementing strategies to improve relationships with suppliers, distributors and customers and/or restructuring a business to improve functionality.
Innovation should be actively encouraged. Some ways to do this include:
Seeking customer feedback: This lets you know where change is needed so you can begin to focus on those areas if you are unsure of where to begin.
Encourage your staff to provide suggestions: Your employees will also have ideas based on their day-to-day experiences in the workplace, so listening to them will make them feel appreciated and improve productivity.
Building innovation into your processes: Your usual business process could have in-built mechanisms which encourage innovation i.e. every month everyone suggests new technology which might make working easier.
Rewarding innovative thinking: When there are good suggestions or demonstrations of innovative thinking, reward them with acknowledgment in front of other staff.
Regular innovation enables you to adapt to change easily and stay on top of your competitors. Businesses should consider setting the time aside to encourage innovative thinking as it is extremely beneficial.