It is well established that business landscapes are prone to continual shifts and changes. Whether you are struggling to cope with those changes or flourishing has a lot to say about your approach towards it. An innovation strategy does not just help you grow your business; it also enables you to stay relevant while outgrowing your competitors.
Thus, product innovation becomes highly valuable. It is the process that enables the development of a new or improved product to resolve customer’s problems. It helps you embrace the change while also generating profits.
This article provides key guidelines for building a culture of innovation and offering products and services that your customers would accept and appreciate.
1. Prevent from the disastrous failure
While innovation is all about change or transformation, it’s not just about the possibilities of what can get right. It is also about recognizing what can go wrong. As you invest your energy and efforts in building a culture of innovation, you must inculcate an approach that pinpoints worst-case scenarios with equal importance. Many companies fail to develop a holistic approach to look at things in their quest for innovation and invite catastrophic events later.
In his opinion, author and risk analyst Nassim Taleb feel that it is important to prevent your enterprise from disastrous events and not just focus your attention on incremental improvements.
Netflix’s decision to merge into Qwikster a decade ago and Snapchat’s redesign are the best examples of an actual disaster. It caused them a loss of millions of dollars and lousy PR. While experimenting and dealing with risks is natural to the innovation process, you must be aware of what are you keeping at stake in your pursuit of the innovation.
2. Set a clear objective for innovation beforehand
Innovation strategy that devoids the why part is incomplete and not sustainable in the real sense. Innovation for the sake of innovating isn’t a practical approach. Thus your enterprise must adopt an innovation strategy that includes clear goals and objectives at its core.
But how do you gain clarity on the objectives of your innovation strategy? You must take account of various factors, including resources, budget, and other measures that may hamper business growth, etc., beforehand to prevent your enterprise from rigid business goals.
3. Prioritize your customers
The success of any business strategy is directly proportional to your customer’s response to it. Therefore, it is important to introspect if the customer needs this while developing an innovation strategy or before launching a new experimental initiative.
It might be tempting to make certain decisions by disregarding your customers in the flow of innovation. But customers should be at the core of your strategy, and customer satisfaction is important to make it viable.
For instance, if the customers are not interested in what you are developing and offering, then it is futile if your initiative has the budget to roll out a test to 1000 stores nationwide; you won’t gain much out of it anyway.
Thus, communicate with your customers. Get insights into what kind of changes would be preferable for them or if a specific product would add value to their buying experience. This way, you might not guarantee success to your experimental initiative, but it does increase the chances of success.
4. Foster a culture of experimentation
While being calculative with innovative measures is crucial, you should not give up on fostering a culture of experimentation. An innovative product along with a repeatable process is undoubtedly going to have a great impact on your business growth. It helps you stay much ahead of the competition in the market.
Therefore, you must build an organizational culture that encourages innovation in an assertive way. A healthy business environment is one where its employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas without being reluctant. Allow your team to own their experiments and help them through the process. It will directly be reflected in the development of a culture of business innovation.
The successes of most of the renowned brands around the globe are based on the innovative measures being implemented by those brands while carefully considering associated risks and challenges. Thus, your enterprise must be open to innovative ideas while also being calculative about them. You will not just outgrow all your competitors but stay relevant in the long run, with innovation being the key driver of your business operations.