Innovation is one of those words people and companies often throw around. It’s become a buzzword and has lost some of its meaning and power. The simple definition of innovation is, introducing new things, ideas, or ways of doing something.
That definition stinks. Why?
Ideas are in surplus, and they always have been, because everyone has ideas. There isn’t a person in the world that hasn’t seen a commercial, social ad, or product on a shelf, who hasn’t said, “I thought of that years ago!” What turns an idea into innovation is one thing.
The truth is, when done properly, innovation uses the creativity already found in your organization to achieve improvements for your people, processes, and technology. But what happens with most organizations is they stop at “discovery”. They receive the data, apply the creativity, but never actually innovate. They get stuck in this sequence of sidetracked projects, and operational delays, and which leaves them walking around the same business cycle year after year.
The implementation of your creativity is what takes your business from passionate to progressive.
Okay, that’s enough “blog post introduction”. Let’s get into the meat!
At AMA Consulting, our specialty is invoking innovation for our clients. This means highlighting existing creativity and guiding our clients through the sometimes tedious process of implementation. We’ve got Amazing ideas, but remember ideas aren’t enough. Everyone has ideas. So, AMA commits to helping our clients implement those ideas sparked by creativity and innovation and seeingeach client through to success.
Here’s what innovation can do for your business when applied properly:
- Increase influence & position
- Reduces time for program launch
- Improves client / customer relations
- Boosts productivity
- Reduces Bureaucracy
- Leads to greater collaboration
For this article, let’s focus on the benefits of increasing your company’s market position through innovation.
Increase influence &position –
Improving your position starts with first, collecting a wealth of information. This information allows you to know where to focus your staff’s direction. Studying trends, reviewing operational procedures, and gaining applicable feedback from clients, partners, vendors, and advisors give you abundance for where to apply the focus and direction of your innovation.
It is from this great bounty of knowledge that innovation begins.If innovation is utilizing creativity to implement improvements, then this data is the lumber your team will use to develop the framework for their creativity.
A greater understanding of market trends allows your team to anticipate, or even determine, the path participants, clients, and customers will take next. The very best example is our most recent collective experience, the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations who were already resourceful with their workforce by leveraging remote environments and streamlined supply chains, found their teams were able to acclimate rapidly to what we all experienced throughout this “new normal”. These companies were able to service their stakeholders quickly with little disruption, and ultimately gain positioning and influence in theindustry landscape.
These organizations were winners because they innovated BEFORE the need arrived. They were constantly collecting and reviewing data points which helped them anticipate where they could be more flexible with their teams, thus implementing remote and virtual environments before the need arose.
But the pandemic is not the only example of positioning being affected by those who took the time and invested the resources to innovate (implement their creativity).
Once social media had effectively taken over our lives, we all rushed to produce as much content as we possibly could. However, it has been the innovators that reviewed the data, crunched the numbers of actual impact, and anticipated we would all burnout from content overload.
Instead of pumping out loads of loosely thrown together posts, blogs, and podcasts, the most innovative companies determined it was time to personalize the experience and create value. No longer was the objective to saturate the internet with converting messages. Innovative organizations discovered it is better to tailor content to the desired audience and ensure everything offered was pumped full of useful knowledge and applicable info. But this was done only by becoming intimate friends with the data first.
Even now, as more organizations are tailoring experiences,and embracing remote and virtual business, we at AMA are seeing opportunities for innovation many new horizons. AMA is paying attention to the following:
Virtual Interfaces –Those who can take advantage of the distanced experience and utilize virtual interfaceswith their clients are revolutionizing their experience. These organizations are bringing elements of the in-person feel back. Innovations like this take a great deal of technical advancement, but there are many companies with augmented reality applications that can be customized to fit your business. We see this with housing agencies who are using zoom and MS Teams to conduct house inspections. Interior decorators, architecture firms, accountants, and more are finding virtual interfaces a helpful space of innovation. Has your organization considered how virtual interfaces can revolutionize your client experience?
Localization – With workforces moving to places all over the world, people are exploring new cities, meeting new neighbors, and discovering interesting opportunities. Yet, Americans are more engaged locally than they have been in decades and embracing community once again. Organizations who can capitalize on the localization of our society will find themselves securely in the driver’s seat. High end restaurants have started the push in this innovation. They anticipated the desire for patrons to want locally sourced food and gave it to them.
It may seem as though these restaurants saw or followed a trend, but in reality, they determined this transition in their market. It was not something they discovered, it was something they decided, and American society jumped right on board. Similarly, politics are anticipated to quickly shift from national emphasis to local focus. Communications, housing, agriculture, education, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and more can all start to increase their market position by grounding themselves locally. This means your organization should be looking into joining the forerunners in this space of localization, now!
Making the Commitment
Commit to making innovation a real part of your organization’s regular practice by leveraging the industry information and data your everyday operations and interactions are already giving you. Paying close attention to what is already happening, and leveraging your organization’s creativity from that info, can put you in the driver’s seat towards what’s next. You don’t have to be the CEO / Director to make this commitment. You can start by innovating in your department, division, cubicle, or home office. If innovation is using the creativity already found in your organization… invoking innovation is simply examining, mapping, inspiring, and implementing that same creativity.
Over the next few weeks, we will be presenting articles that walk through all the aspects of innovation we listed above. If you know your organization needs to increase its current influence and position, we are your answer. At AMA, we specialize in helping you identify and implement innovation, making it a standard part of your operational practice. Contact us and become the leader in your industry sector today.