What is innovation?
Innovation is defined as the ability of individuals, companies or even nations to explore ideas of different and successful way adding value to the market, governments and society. That is, the success of a business is not based only on its potential to generate income but also on how your idea generates positive impact on people.
This concept is generally associated with products, but can also occur at the level of technology, processes, services, management and marketing. The important thing is that innovation be used correctly in order to improve efficiency, productivity and business performance.
Creativity vs innovation
Creativity, as the word implies, is the ability to create. It’s about enjoying the mind to manage different ideas. Anyone can be creative, whatever the context in which it is inserted. In a business environment, creativity can help in the task management, performance improvement of the working team and the creation of quality products. For example, from the creativity companies can take a flexible and updated position in relation to new technologies that continue to be developed. With this definition in mind, it can be seen that creativity has a weight in importance of innovation.
As we have seen, innovation It is to develop business ideas into something useful and practical for society. In other words, it is the process of converting theory into action. And this is where creativity is distinguished from innovation: the action. To be creative, an individual must be able to present new ideas while, to be innovator, This needs to act on those ideas.
Types of innovation
Incremental Innovation (or continuity)
This is the most common type of innovation and it is to find ways to improve products, services or processes that already exist in the market. Here, the solutions are not created from scratch but by introducing small changes to existing ones, focusing on aspects that enhance its value.
A innovation Continuity brings less risk to the entrepreneur, however, requires a strategic approach and aimed to ensure that these changes are valued by customers. A good method to get opportunities innovation incremental is conduct a search together customers, identifying what they value most in their products or services and what aspects is that they would like to see improved.
Innovation radical (or breakthrough)
In this type of innovation It gives the breach of fundamental principles already adopted in the market for the creation of entirely new markets and industries. That is, a product, service or process never seen before is built from scratch and placed on the market in order to completely replace the previous solutions or responding to a necessity where there was a solution.
A innovation Disruptive brings several advantages to an entrepreneur, which highlights its unique participation in a new market leaving its pioneering brand, a considerable increase in profit of the business and its ability to innovate continuously. However, this type of innovation is the most difficult, time-consuming and usually involves a greater financial investment.
Business innovation as a workplace culture
Running a business requires cutting-edge solutions to a growing number of operational challenges. Without them, progress and success are impossible to achieve. And, it turns out that one of the best examples of how essential business innovation is for the survival of businesses comes from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Having forced half the world into adopting work-from-home practices , Covid-19 proved that the only way for companies to survive during difficult times was to adopt an agile workplace culture that focused on solutions rather than challenges.
Those who learned how to make the most of the situation – whether by adapting their practices or identifying new ones that would work better – thrived. And, those who refused to respond to the changes went under. A survey from May 2020 showed that 78% of business leaders expected employee productivity to suffer due to remote work.
These numbers perfectly illustrate the potential of an innovative approach to workplace culture. Sure, the pandemic may have disrupted workflows and operations. But it also uncovered areas for improvement in leading a productive workforce.
Companies discovered efficient ways of doing exceptional work with dispersed teams. Brands developed solutions and innovative technologies that eliminated newly-formed obstacles. Employees devised ingenious hacks to make up for less-than-ideal circumstances.
The idea is to think outside the box and improve collaboration by making it purposeful and limiting its time allotment. The resource suggests solutions like core collaboration blocks, limited team meetings, and greater levels of employee flexibility.
To some leaders, these suggestions may seem ludicrous. But to those who understand the value of innovation (in all its forms), they represent an experience-based business decision that promises success plus significant productivity gains.
Business innovation as the key to assessing and mitigating risk
The process of creating and implementing novel solutions or work philosophies looks toward the future. Consequently, an innovative approach makes for the most effective way to recognize potential setbacks and mitigate risk. Businesses would ideally do this through improving current practices and developing better ones that can drive success.
The idea that business success requires inventive thinking and an innovative approach employed in the service of risk management isn’t unusual. The current state of the U.S. job market shows an exceptional illustration of how the two can work together.
Furthermore, the first three months of 2021 saw a 17% hourly wage growth . That’s the fastest change in compensation over the past 20 years. The results? – A diminishing workforce in essential industries coupled with a rapidly growing cost of doing business.
Well, one solution would be to turn towards applying an innovative approach. In addition to traditional contributions to employee job satisfaction, like increasing wages or offering better benefits, employers could also look for new ways to attract and retain the right talent, that will not feel the need for job hopping. For example, the state of the tech industry currently shows a worryingly poor level of diversity .
So, one way for business owners to prepare for a changing job market would be to find new methods for offering better support to female and POC employees. Or, to prevent the shortage of qualified workers, employers could consider re-thinking credential requirements. They could even look for ways to eliminate, automate, or outsource cumbersome tasks to make the work more enjoyable.
Of course, HR is not the only area that can see long-term gains from an innovative approach to predicting and preventing operational hurdles. Every single aspect of running a business can benefit from business innovation ideas. Especially when it makes processes more secure, resilient, and self-sufficient.
Implementing and developing new innovative technologies like automated expense management software, for instance, can minimize the chances of human error . AI-powered customer support solutions help answer sudden surges in demand while preventing overspending. Digital whiteboards and project management solutions future-proof workflows and create new spaces for employee growth.