5 steps to building an innovation culture

Be brave, embrace failure and to reinvent your company

Innovation is imperative to growth. Microsoft and the Harvard Business Review found in a recent survey that almost half of respondents believe their traditional business model “will be obsolete by 2020.” And PwC research found a direct correlation between “excellence in innovation and superior growth revenue”.
This is why enterprises of all sizes and shapes are searching for the secrets to invention and creative disruption. Here are five points that should be considered to energize innovation in your organization:

1) Innovation is a continuous process.

Innovation isn’t a one-off. It is a constant cycle that needs to be carefully cultivated and ideas continually developed to have a chance of success. This requires both time, commitment and financial investment. Gartner says that enterprises need to remember that “designing, implementing, integrating, operationalizing, and managing the ideated solution can be significantly more than the initial innovation costs”. The analyst firm estimates that through 2019, every $1 enterprises invest in innovation will require an additional $7 in core execution.

2) Think flat

Innovation should run through every part of your organization from top to bottom. Innovation is at its most successful when it is open to everyone, where there is a flat management structure that speeds up decision processes. Innovation should not be the domain of a select team, it should be open to everyone. Sometimes the best ideas come from the most unexpected corners of the company.

3) Don’t see failure as a punishment

It is essential to understand that failure is an integral part of innovation. You can’t come up with a breakthrough product or service if you are not willing to accept that the process requires risk taking. Harvard Business School has estimated that up to 90 percent of innovations fail – yet, innovation is imperative for companies to stay competitive.  No industry is resistant to the “potential disintermediation” of their business model by new, disruptive technologies and players, according to market research company IDC, which is why it maintains “innovation will define competitive advantage in the digital era.”

4) Collaborate to innovate

It is important to understand that innovation flourishes in a trusting, open and collaborative environment. Without collaboration with those inside and outside your industry, you are working in a vacuum and it is difficult to generate radically new ideas. “The open enterprise must look for what new business models any given innovation may suggest and partner with whomever is best positioned to realize the potential,” explains Darin Stewart, research vice president at Gartner.  When it comes to developing new products and services with external partners, PwC found that the most innovative companies collaborate three times more often.

5) Know where you want to go

A carefully considered innovation strategy is imperative. Spend time working out what you want to achieve, your goals and aspirations. According to a PwC study, nearly 80 per cent of the most innovative companies say that they have a well-defined innovation strategy. And a brief look at the biggest failures in Silicon Valley history reveals companies without a clear strategy, who miss the curve on new technologies and make disastrous acquisitions to catch up.

Tap into your innovation potential with our help. Our Innovation consultants can with you hand in hand to unleash your potential. Find out how this collaborative innovation process works.


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