Innovation. It is something every business operation needs to survive, something every leadership team strives for, and something every customer demands. Organizations are continually looking for ways to stand apart from their competition, advance their offerings, and boost their efficiency, as fast as possible.
The definition of innovation is, “the introduction of new ideas.” However, what holds leadership back is the fear of those ideas not producing measurable results. What many fail to recognize is that innovation, or merely new ideas, can start small and quickly deliver solutions. Achieving this can be successful through gradual transformations immediately implemented throughout a firm.
Strategic Benefits of Innovation
To remain competitive, businesses must adapt. Anticipating changing industry trends, and making modifications proactively instead of reactively, not only differentiate a company from their competition, but it places them in a leadership position. Modernizing elements of an organization will ensure that customers will be more eager to maintain their relationship with a firm, and they will take note of the additional value an establishment places in updating their offerings.
What is sometimes overlooked, but just as important as product adaption, is that internal innovation can significantly reduce costs and waste. Embracing improvements and modifying employee relationships and behaviors is a highly valuable tactic to innovate, and a method that can be accomplished rather swiftly. Like customers, employees are more motivated when they feel their input is appreciated, and these efforts directly correlate into more sales, customer retention, and maintaining a reputation for originality. Whether it is streamlining processes, reducing blocks in production, or boosting workplace morale, focusing right away on operational efficiency can generate additional techniques to increase profits.
Immediate Methods of Innovation
Innovation can start today. It doesn’t need a three-year outline. It can begin with a team collaborating, now. In fact, for a business that aims to be competitive, it is imperative that improvements happen quickly. The longer a firm waits to modernize, the faster an opponent will discover a new and celebrated idea; therefore, giving them a head start to implement changes that will directly affect the industry and relevancy of every other contender.
The fastest way to innovate is to have a united team. An organization’s workforce must be cooperating in order to innovate effectively. They should be engaged in the product and self-motivated enough to come to the table with ideas and concepts. While teams, especially global workforces, may run into the challenge of working with different cultures, personalities, time constraints, skillsets, and agendas, they must be aligned to innovate successfully.
Innovation can happen quickly if the team embraces it. They must be willing to listen to other’s ideas, observe how others think and connect, and deliver conceptual skills that encourage these notions. The big thinkers with the creative ideas should be embraced, just as much as the traditional thinkers are confident in their contributions, and no one should shy away from making mistakes, as long as they are learned from.
Inexpensive Methods of Innovation
Innovation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. When many think of modernizing or altering their firm with the goal of staying competitive in the market, thoughts of expensive, cutting-edge concepts that are difficult to implement usually come to mind. The fact is that pure modernism is simply changing things for the benefit of the customer, the team, and the business. It does not always have to be overly technical or costly.
As with speed, the most economical method to determine if a company is pursuing innovation is to look internally and discover how the workforce is being utilized. Are team members appropriately applied and are projects evenly distributed? Does the workforce have the tools needed to get the job done, and if not, are there better tools they could be using? What are the elements of training, and is it working? How are team members collaborating with clients and is it useful? Internally focused improvement is not only cost-effective but provides insights into the business model that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
The Bimodal IT Solution to Innovation
As innovation requires rapid flexibility and communication, it is not a surprise that Bimodal IT methodologies are utilized quite well for this purpose. Bimodal is the practice of separating a team into two parallel groups, or modes, one being a traditional based performance group and the second having an exploratory focus at a rapid pace. Not only have these practices empowered businesses to bring technological advances to the market quickly, but it has enabled firms to improve product quality, in part because the IT modes value their collaboration with others that work in the same capacity.
These practices are effective because they are driven by people and not technology. Because Bimodal IT encourages efficiency and stability for mode one, and constant and adaptive thought for mode two, it is an efficient technique to promote innovation while acclimatizing to the needs of the industry. The system starts at the hiring process, narrowing the emphasis on the specific job function, and leads to higher retention rates and job satisfaction. It reasserts that while talent can wear many hats, their individual strengths and unique skills should be encouraged and fortified during the innovative process. By doing this, both modes have the tools to equally innovate at a pace that is required by the IT industry.
Innovation isn’t an option. In order for a business to succeed, they must quickly evolve. To evolve, a company must look internally and innovate from within. While the end-user may never see first-hand the changes that have been implemented throughout the team, they will appreciate it when it is time to make a purchasing decision.