In order for new ideas and processes to develop in your company, you must start with the way everyone (including you) thinks.
The opinions expressed by employees are personal.
“Our industry does not respect tradition, it only respects innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. There is probably no better phrase to define the secret of successful technology companies … and neither for companies in other business and industries.
Innovation is that force that allows you to adapt to change (or rather, get ahead of it) and generate products and services that conquer markets. Any company that wants to survive in time must have an innovative mindset .
True innovation always seems, initially, a mistake. It is so different and out of the ordinary that it looks incorrect and probably fails … a risk that very few brands are willing to accept. However, this is a big mistake: no matter what the size of a company, the lack of innovation can lead to bankruptcy and cases that prove it, there are plenty.
For an innovative company, it is necessary to have an innovative culture . And these are some of the tips you can apply in your business to achieve it:
1. Make sure there is tension
It is very difficult to innovate in an environment where everyone says “yes” to everything (or worse, “no” to any proposal). Tension – properly managed – can be a great incentive for innovation, as it allows us to confront ideas and ways of thinking. That's why it's important that you hire people with different mentalities, as this will help you boost creativity and gain perspectives from different angles.
2. Streamline your processes
The main reason why startups are the great hotbeds of innovation is due to the simplicity and agility of their processes. Its structures – unlike those of a large corporate – are simple, less hierarchical and anti-bureaucratic. In addition, in these companies failure is allowed, because it costs less and it is easier to recover to try again.
For there to be innovation in your company you must facilitate the processes: avoid that any idea has to go through a thousand filters to become a reality or that every novelty has to undergo several tests before launching into the market. Simply put, you have to leave perfection and stay in a “beta” state.
3. Make it spread throughout the company
Innovation must permeate all areas of your business, from marketing to administration. This mentality must be in each and every one of your employees. Remember that it is always possible to improve processes and results, either in your advertising campaigns or in the way of communicating. The innovative mindset should not be reserved for a few, but rather be a common good (and an obligation) among all members of an organization.
4. Align the innovation strategy with the business strategy
Innovating for innovation makes no sense. For the cost (in time and money) of innovation to really be worthwhile, it must be aligned with the business objectives. So before working on projects or asking for ideas, focus on what you want to achieve with them and how they will impact the mission and vision you defined for your company.
Innovation will always require boldness and acceptance of risks. If you want to innovate, then you must forget to “go for sure” or to be able to control every step. True innovation seems like a mistake, so you must be willing to fail before finding a really winning idea or strategy. The expert recommends making a minimum viable innovation framework ; that is, start with something that does not require a large investment, but that can be spearhead to work with this scheme.
6. Promotes openness
In an innovative company there are no large offices separated by imposing glass, nor the areas that divide employees according to their position. The most successful companies are aware that great ideas can come from anyone and can be generated in any conversation. So it removes barriers and promotes active participation among all members of your team.
7. Use the right tools
To facilitate communication and collaborative work it is essential that you use technological tools that facilitate this work. Some of them are Google Drive and Evernote Business. With these applications you will be able to know the contributions of each one, add comments and join efforts.
8. Take it seriously
Some of the most valuable companies in the world have an area (well formed and defined) dedicated exclusively to innovation. For example, Alphabet (formerly Google) has Google Labs, which develops new products and solutions. Do not see innovation as a complement to any area – such as marketing and advertising – but as an intrinsic part of the organization.
9. Don't just look to sell more
If your goal to innovate is only to increase your sales, chances are you won't get it. Innovation must serve to improve processes, increase employee loyalty and improve your customers' experience. Remember that not everything is numbers, and that there are actions that impact beyond the weights.