It is still common to find directors who hinder innovation within their company or are reluctant to do so. The excuse with which they justify their actions is the excessive time and investment that must be devoted to it. Another pretext they use with relative frequency is that any innovation can quickly become obsolete if the competition offers another improved alternative, which leaves ours out of the market.
None of these reasons is wrong. However, the benefits that the innovative process can bring to a company far outweigh these drawbacks.
Innovation must start from the company’s direction and, therefore, be endorsed by it. If, on the contrary, she is willing to assume the risks and costs involved, there will be a future for her within the organization.
If the innovative process does not have momentum, it will have no place in the project, no matter how much some employees try to promote it within their jobs. These isolated efforts will only increase with being endorsed and promoted by company management. Reluctance and very complex difficulties to overcome without their support will arise, which will end up ruining any innovative initiative that occurs individually.
But this will not be enough, in addition to the above, to be able to say that a company, whatever its size, is genuinely innovative; innovation must permeate every corner of the company; that is, it must originate from management and be present in all the departments that make up the company.
Why is this so important? What benefits does it bring to an organization? I propose five reasons:
- Companies can only sometimes do the same since the market is continuously moving. Times change, customers change, tastes also change… and the company cannot be the only thing that remains immovable, but must adapt to these changes and even promote them to increase or maintain its profits. Only in this way can you improve the quality of your products/services and retain customers. An example of this can be a business that, to adapt to current needs, establishes online sales as an innovation within its small business.
- Organizations require processes to be constantly optimized. For this, having workers or managers oriented towards this continuous improvement is only possible if innovation is very present in the organization’s culture. For example, suppose an employee detects that a process can be streamlined through technology and has the necessary knowledge to do so. In that case, he must make it available to the company, even though that is not his role.
- You can direct your product or service to a new customer segment through innovation. For example: Suppose we are dedicated to manufacturing and selling security doors for banking entities. In this case, by carrying out a few small modifications to the product, we can broaden that range of clients and also focus on private homeowners who currently do not plan to sell or inhabit them.
- Since innovation is something that only some companies do these days, it can strengthen your brand image. Innovating is synonymous with change, progress, and evolution, so associating your company with all of this will always be a plus.
- Thanks to innovation, you can experience growth in the organization and achieve a better position within the sector. Suppose you have implemented a new computer tool, which has allowed you to increase your sales and improve your position in the market.
Creativity is a concept closely related to innovation that must also be present in the company. We often use them interchangeably; however, they are not synonymous. The innovative process begins with a creative idea, so both would be closely related.
In this case, incorporating creative and innovative workers will be extra for your project. But what if these skills are not among your strengths and neither among the people on your team? Don’t worry; creativity can be trained through different techniques, and innovation is a process that only requires training.
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