Simply taking waste and creating art can quickly lead to surprising innovation.
Purpose puts a spring in your step and allows innovation to emerge
The first thing to do when you want to begin innovation is to understand clearly, your purpose, vision and objectives. When this happens you are in a position to align any innovation so that you maximise your time and investment.
The underlying meaning of innovation is the words, improve, create and renewal. For innovation to take place it is necessary for people to change the way they make decisions. And in order to see things and make thing happen, they must choose to do things differently, make choices outside of their comfort zone.
Why do some businesses and organisations succeed at innovation when others struggle with it? It’s because the winners at innovation focus their strategies on building an innovative culture.
Before you rush into any innovation looking to find a solution you must consider your options and it is wise not to spend a penny unless it is aligned with your direction and will improve your profitability, growth and sustainability.
Often innovations are in plain sight, but when you take the time to think and reflect on them you might see innovation opportunities in different ways.
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour”. Elon Musk
Be careful not to overlook sizable opportunities that could have a real positive impact on your business. When you see a big opportunity to innovate, it is often best to say “yes”, and then work out how you are going to go about it.
It will always pay to explore the different drivers of innovation and can provide new and exciting opportunities.
You must have the freedom to fail
Peter Drucker is quoted as saying “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Culture is not the soft stuff most people think it is. A business’s culture can easily override strategies that are unable to turn this principle to their advantage. “Culture is often both the toughest part of the strategy and the reason a strategy works”.
Sustained innovation is rooted in a business’s culture for investing in change and for exploiting the changes they invest in. This is the sweet spot of an innovation strategy. Get this aspect of your culture working and your innovation strategies will have a fighting chance of success, eliminating behaviour that damages the probability of success.
“You have to be burning with “an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out”. Steve Jobs
A big clearly defined purpose with the freedom to fail will pull you through all the struggles and disappointments. You don’t have to have the big purpose from day one but be ready to add up the little things as you move forward.
Experienced innovation leaders know that copying someone else’s ideas and processes will not have any real impact if their culture doesn’t know how to invest in reworking them to be even more innovative for their business.
Work on innovation drivers that will have the biggest impact
There are always new ways of creating innovation around logistics and customer service. Could you ever have imagined a drone delivering a parcel to your doorstep? This is where you can have the biggest and quickest payoffs. Other drivers might include:
- Customer’s problems, frustrations wants and needs
- Flexible working arrangements
- The Internet of Things.
- Artificial intelligence.
- Big Data.
- Insight and foresight.
- Cloud computing.
- 3D Printing.
- Hardship and social disadvantage.
- Analytics point to possibilities.
- People with a burning desire.
- Emotion, love is a wonderful thing.
Within each of these drivers of innovation, there will be many opportunities to explore and open up significant possibilities to improve the way you do business.
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Sometimes it’s difficult to see what is right before our eyes, and if you wait for others to innovate you could wait a long time.
People generally focus on business benefits, costs and return on investment (ROI) when proposing and selecting innovations for investment. Often a sound business case will need to be presented to funders and others.
Once approved, the innovation is usually assigned to a project manager who is motivated and rewarded based on a successful implementation, not a successful investment. Delivering the implementation on time, and on budget becomes the primary consideration.
Keep in mind that you can’t do everything. So, simplify your life, reduce the mind traffic and prioritise. You will be surprised just how much your productivity will improve and how many more projects will be completed.