Building a Business with an Innovation Culture
Just as an under nourished flower will wither and die, so will innovation if it is not cultivated and nurtured. There are countless examples of companies that failed to recognise the need to innovate and evolve, not seeing the signs and neglecting to act when they needed to.
Thomas Edison said it over a century ago: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.” Innovative companies sustain a track record of success by creating the right “climate” for employees to cultivate the innovation mindset — to think different, act different, and achieve extraordinary success.
Because innovation is so frequently confused with creativity or idea generation , many companies dramatically overestimate their commitment to innovation. It is important that companies take a “check-point” on the state of their culture, innovation is a mindset which without being reinforced and developed will lead to stagnation or corporate failure, the culture of the organisation sets the tone for future success. A company that is unwilling to evolve with its market is destined to fail as new entrants enter the competitive arena, eager to leverage off the success of the early entrants.
It goes then without saying that understanding the macro, micro and competitive aspects of a company’s market place is essential to be able to effectively innovate. The role of innovation also needs to be understood in this context, sometimes and in some areas of the business less innovation is required and that is OK…it is not necessary to resource that area in the same way which a different area that does innovate needs to be resourced. Identifying where innovation is required in the business also helps understand the sources of innovation that are available. There are some obvious places to look such as evolving technology or shifts in consumer behaviour but there are some less obvious ones that also need to be explored and also the businesses ability to change perceptions or shift paradigms.
One may consider finding a new innovation to be the difficult part but embedding innovation into the DNA of the organisation requires strong leadership and constant management least the company fall prey to new market entrants.
Tags: Entrepreneur, Growth, Innovation