Just because you live in a remote area it doesn’t exclude you from innovation.
Innovation has no boundaries
As someone who had been involved with business all my life, I’m still constantly surprised and pleased by the innovation capacity of the people living in regional, rural and remote communities. And they do it without the support their counterparts in the big cities receive.
Some of them have created a bewildering array of products and for the life of me I can’t figure out who would buy them, but people do, and then there are plenty of others that are truly inspirational.
These entrepreneurial builders of our communities have grown their lives and their businesses with a unique character and personality. One of “she’ll be right mate’, to “let’s get on with it’. Activities range from designing systems, manufacturing equipment, and providing innovative services for their mates and the community and more.
The process of converting a passionate idea into an actual product with a business model is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Whether it’s madness or calculated wisdom or some combination, I have a huge respect for people in the business.
Sure, not all of their ideas are worthy of investment but they are usually of use to someone and I respect their attempts. For a business to be sustainable it needs a continuous flow of new and innovative ideas, all providing challenges to existing ways of thinking with the capacity to change the social fabric of their communities.
“Want to change the world? Upset the status quo? This takes more than run-of-the-mill relationships. You need to make people dream the same dream that you do”. Guy Kawasaki
As with any industry, as the ideas are turned into innovative products and services, it changes people’s lives. Just because you are a new business compared to others, all of whom have experienced several challenging transitions over the years, is no reason not to proceed with your innovative ideas. Innovation must be at the heart of every business and non-profit organisation.
Without innovation, risks can become overwhelming
There is always a growing concern about a business’s ability to maintain its ongoing competitiveness. However, you must cultivate the skills needed to create tomorrow’s innovations where globalisation and technology are driving constant change.
We all need to foster the innovative capacity of businesses by recognising the need to train a far larger pool of entrepreneurial talent, which is so vital for the continued prosperity of our country.
Analysing your potential innovation ideas
When you align your proposed innovation with your purpose, vision and mission it will open up possibilities to extend your ideas to customer service innovation, customer experience and your business model innovation.
- Does it solve a problem or frustration that is relevant and important to a customer?
- Does it cut costs?
- Will your innovation contribute to profitable growth and sustainability?
- Does it remove significant barriers or roadblocks to improving performance?
- Will it improve your competitiveness?
- Can you scale your innovation quickly?
- Can it create a significantly different capability?
- Will the idea be easy to adopt for the customer, with low switching costs?
- Are the innovation and its benefits easy to understand, and easy to communicate?
- Is there any worthwhile intellectual property?
- Do you have opportunities beyond your business innovations?
- Is your idea protectable or defensible?
- Will you innovation pass the “so what” test?
If your innovation can address most of these questions, it will have a chance of contributing to your business as a successful innovation. In assessing you innovation potential you should be looking not only at current performance and innovation capability but also at the potential for innovation well into the future.
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I have found businesses, non-profits and communities with an abundance of new ideas far better able to cope with the stressors of our economic environment. Their innovation potential bridges the gaps between the current situation and their future success.
This is most apparent when there are real entrepreneurs in the community along with people who are interested in putting their struggles behind them and to get on with life.
All businesses, non-profit organisations and communities need to work together on new ideas and ways of working to keep fresh and competitive, helping them to survive, especially during economic downturns.
Channelling people’s ability and motivation to innovate from an early stage in their lifecycle is a great way to fast-track profitable growth, create new jobs and become sustainable.