Creating and maintaining a competitive advantage in today’s business environment requires constant innovation. New products, services and processes are necessary to acquire and grow customers and improve profitability.
The “Uber” threat to the taxi industry is a good example of how an outdated business model can lose market share.
How can we learn from this example of innovation in a very resistant market? Based on our experience working with businesses of all sizes and types over many years the biggest hurdle to innovation is overcoming old thinking patterns and behavior. The following strategies can help build an innovative business:
Create the right environment
It takes time to make real change at any level, whether it be individual, organisational or cultural. It is often useful to involve as many people as practical in the process. The more support you have for your idea, the quicker you will gather momentum and create change.
We always remind out clients to be persistent. The Uber example shows us that the road to innovation does not always have a warm welcome. Change can be met with negativity and rejection. The key is persistence and repetition.
Introduce change gradually
A good idea can sometimes fail if you try to introduce too much, too differently and too quickly. When advising clients we have found it helps to relate a new idea or process to something that is already in place but perhaps needs fine-tuning.
Learn from your mistakes
Invariably, real innovation involves risks and challenges, particularly in the early stages.
Accept any mishaps and more importantly, learn from them.
Measure the points of success
The development of a new product or service needs to be managed properly to maximize the return on investment. It is critical to measure the right points of success during the innovation cycle.
As you can see from the ‘Uber’ example, innovation should be an integral part of every business. Despite this, it tends to receive less attention than the operating and customer processes.
Whether you have an existing business or are in the early stages of starting one, the above strategies should increase the likelihood of success following implementation of your innovation.
Feel free to contact John or David on (07) 3221 4465 if you would like to discuss how we could help you.