In today’s business climate, innovation is more important than ever. But what does that actually mean? How can you ensure that your organisation is as innovative as possible?
Here are five principles of innovation that will help you get started.
Innovation must be approached as a discipline.
The first principle of innovation is that it must be approached as a discipline. This means having a systematic and organised approach to innovating. It also means making sure that everyone in the organisation is clear on the need to be innovative and knows what their role is in making it happen.
If innovation isn’t approached as a discipline, it can be difficult to achieve consistent results. This can lead to frustration on the part of employees and customers, ultimately damaging the organisation’s competitiveness.
Innovation must be approached comprehensively.
Innovation cannot happen in a vacuum—it must be approached comprehensively. This means looking at all aspects of the organisation and finding ways to improve upon them. It also means being open to change and experimenting with new ideas.
If innovation isn’t approached comprehensively, it can lead to inconsistency and frustration. Employees and customers may not be clear on the organisation’s goals or how they can help achieve them. This can damage the organisation’s competitiveness and ultimately impact its bottom line.
Innovation must include an organised, systemic and continual search for new opportunities.
The third principle of innovation is that it must include an organised, systematic and continual search for new opportunities. This means always looking for new ways to improve upon what you’re already doing. It also means being willing to take risks and try new things—even if they don’t always work out.
Maintaining a competitive edge can be difficult if innovation isn’t approached this way. Organisations that don’t continually search for new opportunities may fall behind their rivals.
Innovation must involve everyone in the organisation.
Fourth, innovation must involve everyone in the organisation. This means creating a culture of innovation where everyone feels empowered to contribute new ideas. It also means ensuring everyone has access to the resources they need to make those ideas a reality.
If innovation isn’t involving everyone in the organisation, it can be difficult to generate new ideas. And even if new ideas are generated, they may not be implemented effectively without employees’ buy-in. This can lead to a feeling of powerlessness and frustration and can ultimately damage the organisation’s competitiveness.
Innovation must be customer-centred.
Last but not least, innovation must be customer-centred. This means constantly keeping your customers in mind and ensuring that any changes or innovations you make ultimately aim to provide them with a better experience. It also means being willing to listen to feedback and take it to heart—after all, your customers are the ones who will ultimately decide whether or not your innovations are successful.
If innovation isn’t customer-centred, it can be difficult to create lasting changes. This is because any changes made may not align with what customers actually want or need. As a result, they may not use the innovation or may even become frustrated with it. This can ultimately damage the relationship between the organisation and its customers.
These are just five principles of innovation—but they’re a good place to start if you’re looking to make your organisation more innovative.
|Approach innovation as a discipline||Better understanding of processes, ideas and methods to innovate.
Increase in efficiency due to processes.
Improvement in clarity of the objectives.
Creates consistency and accountability.
Gives everyone involved a clear goal to work towards.
|Difficult to adopt a systematic approach in an existing organisation.
Risk of process-driven innovation becoming too rigid or slow.
Difficulty in measuring the success of innovating activities.
Can be difficulty to sustain long-term commitment from all stakeholders.
Burdensome processes can create unnecessary delays and bureaucracy.
|Approach innovation comprehensively||A broader perspective on potential solutions.
Holistic thinking provides innovative solutions that meet multiple needs at once.
Opportunity for fresh insight on existing problems.
Improved access to resources necessary for innovation.
|Lack of guidance with implementing comprehensive approaches.
Complexity associated with managing multiple solutions simultaneously.
Difficulty in identifying areas where comprehensive approaches may not be successful.
|Include an organised, systematic and continual search for new opportunities||Increased chances of successfully trying out new ideas.
Opportunities for unexpected discoveries.
Facilitates collaboration between internal teams and external partners.
Proactively seeks out potential opportunities outside of existing corporate strategies.
|Possibility of stumbling across pitfalls that could have been avoided if there was a rigorous plan in place.
Possible strain on resources due to searching continuously.
Overlooked opportunities due to inadequate resources or time constraints.
Systematic searches may overlook unexpected solutions that surface from creative thinking.
|Involve everyone in the organization||Improved motivation among staff members since they feel valued.
Increased creativity through employee collaboration.
Promotes collective ownership of ideas, products, and initiatives.
|Different worldviews and perspectives may clash, leading to difficulty in reaching consensus.
Employees may fear innovative ideas being rejected when implemented at scale.
Additional resources may be required such as training, tools, and software.
|Innovation must be customer-centred||Clear focus on creating value for customers by meeting their needs.
Refined insights into customer behaviour.
|Unforeseen customer preferences which were not taken into account.
Difficulty in predicting how customers will respond to proposed changes and innovations.
Realising customer centricity when introducing fundamental changes is difficult.