Business Innovation: In The Battle Of Business Innovation Wins
Business Innovation is often defined as an organization’s process for introducing new ideas, workflows, methodologies, services or products.
While this is a good definition, I would like to propose that it’s too narrow a definition of business innovation. The phrase “process for introducing” implies that innovation only occurs at the front end of any business. In this case, business innovation happens at the launch of a new idea and then stops once implemented.
This leads to what I call, the “Launch and Abandon” strategy.
Think of business innovation like a rocket in space. If you fire up the engines to get the rocket off the ground to only turn them off, that rocket is flying back to earth for a crash and burn. This is the same in business and we see it all the time. In fact, it’s often why clients call us. They recognize that this Launch and Abandon strategy is actually making them work twice as hard in the long run and hindering their results.
How many new ideas get off to a great start only to get dropped when the next idea launches with the same level of fan fare? Just think about what an experience like going to a Disney Park would be if innovation was only a focus at the launch of a ride idea and not in every other element like marketing, line flow, character outfits, etc. I doubt we’d be talking about how amazing the Disney experience is for all ages if that were the case.
Business Innovation that leads to a real competitive advantage and skyrockets results is seen as a priority at every stage of business, and with all those inside the business.
If you take a quick look at Fast Company’s most innovative companies from 2017 you’ll notice a theme, innovation is in everything they do. Regardless of industry leadership at those leading companies, they recognize that business innovation is their competitive advantage.
If you are seeking to make a case for why business innovation should rise to the top of your strategic plan, here are a few points that will help you make that case.
Success Yesterday Versus Today
Out of the 500 companies that made up the Fortune 500 in 1955, only 61 still existed in 2014 and it’s dropped from there. That’s only a 12.2% survival rate. What led to success yesterday is not what leads to success tomorrow. Even the most successful, those that were considered icons of industry, are on that list. They had all the resources, people and knowledge to innovate, but instead, they rested on their success and the marketplace left them behind. You must continually apply innovation to your work to stay ahead of the curve.
If You Don’t Someone Else Will
Sears vs. Amazon. Blockbuster vs. Netflix. Crossfit vs. The Rest Of The Fitness World. The beauty of today’s world is that the playing field is more even than ever. That means anyone can start a business. That also means that the competition is fierce and continually nipping at your heels. All too often I’ve seen companies not even see their competition as a threat until it was too late. The competition had already taken big chunks of market share - Clorox vs. OxiClean. Our biggest competition are the ideas and competitors that haven’t even launched yet, but they are coming. Simply put, if you don’t innovate, someone else will.
Marketplace Expects It
Your customers, whether that’s in a business-to-business or a business-to-consumer world, expect and value innovation. They want you to solve their biggest needs in new and innovative ways and create products and services that rock their world. It’s our nature to want to be associated with people and businesses on the leading edge, not the ones being left behind. The marketplace demands business innovation. And, they’ll either open up their wallets to pay for it or go find someone else that will serve their needs.