What characteristics should a business possess to demonstrate innovativeness?
I want my business and my employees to possess a culture of innovation. What core values or characteristics should a business have to fulfill this? We are a production company in filming, script writing, and editing.
I suggest the following:
1). Make it a rule that whatever approach anyone else has ever taken before, in any given situation, is forbidden.
2). Promote and encourage the most creative members of your team to lead projects.
3). Having big dreams and then finding ways to make those dreams a reality is contagious, encourage this process.
4). Have contests, reward the most creative teams/ individuals.
If you follow these 4 steps, you will build a culture of innovation at your company. Creativity without a framework can be a waste of time and innovation that puts you on the "bleeding edge" can take a company down quickly. Balancing innovation against reality while utilizing wise business practices based on good fundamentals will protect you from this pitfall.
The process of innovation includes an externally focused, learning based, flexible, value-added approach to increasing revenue and solving business challenges.
Externally focused - emphasize the unmet business needs of current customers and prospects rather than focusing on internal procedures and processes.
Learning based - there should be a series of short-time frame 'test and evaluate' projects where you evaluate new services and strategies. The emphasis is on incorporating best practices learned in one project into future 'test and evaluate' projects.
Flexible - the market needs will dictate where you go. Be ready to change your course based on new information.
Value-added - the goal is to identify new services, strategies and tactics that are financially sustainable.
Supporting a culture of innovation includes these characteristics:
Creative - new ideas can challenge the way you operate your business today. You need to create and support a work setting where employees are comfortable brainstorming ideas for your 'test and evaluate' projects.
Consistent - innovation becomes a business strategy that becomes part of the way you approach your business rather than a project completed in a defined time frame.
Aligned - your company's employee evaluation and compensation/reward practices should at the very least not contradict the learning-based approach where some projects fail, some projects just increase knowledge, and some projects add measurable business value.
Accountable - you should establish business goals for implementing a culture of innovation, measure success against those goals, and make adjustments in your plans and goals based on what you've learned.
Autonomy...give your employees some time to work on their own projects that interest them. Often those projects will turn into something the business can use, and will also keep those employees focused on the work they are doing the rest of the time.
It all starts from the top. Lead by example and the rest will fall into place.
To display innovation an organization must act outside the norm (not always in a new way.)
In all cases, the innovation must meet the customer desires in someway (unless it is some competitive strategic ploy.)
Internally, throughout the employee base, there should be a openness to creativity, experimentation, courage, and a sensibility to recognize the client's experience as their guide.
Great question Zach. I believe you have to think like the world we live in today and the world is unpredictable . In other words you have to think without boundaries or limitations, nothing is to far and nothing is to extreme. The world is very unpredictable and should be viewed in that way ;" it's not a bad thing" just different. The internet is a great example, it's limitless. Innovators are trail blazers, and thinking outside the box is old news; try thinking without limits. That's the ticket. Good luck !!
I may define Innovation as new ideas that can covert into something useful and profitable for an organization.
Look at my post in slideshare, http://www.slideshare.net/joochay/6-simple-ways-to-manage-complexities, there are some relevancy to your questions.
Hi Zach, great question. I'm surprised that more business leaders don't ask this same question.
The advice that I give to my clients is three-fold:
1. Acceptance of failure. The corporate world has a tendency to punish failure, and so there are fewer innovations than one would expect, because failure is key to the innovation process. Few, if any innovations work the first time. In fact, it often takes several iterations for a new product or service to be effective, let alone a success. Yet if failure isn't tolerated, why would an employee risk their career being innovative? They wouldn't! So the first step to innovation is to have a culture where having a go and failing is accepted.
2. Client centric culture. Innovation comes out of meeting needs. Generally, for most businesses, it is the needs of the client that are important to be met. Sure, there can be innovation of internal processes, but there are limitations on how far you can go. Whereas innovation to solve problems of your clients is a fountain of opportunities that never runs dry. I therefore advise clients to focus on the needs of their customers (and potential customers) if they want to be a progressive / innovative business.
3. Encouragement and freedom to innovate. Nobody has a mortgage on ideas. They can come from anywhere and anyone. Therefore the culture of the firm needs to support innovation from wherever it might spring forth. Ideas need to be encouraged and supported and resources allocated to, at least, explore/consider ideas.
Challenge yourself and have a go. You'll surprise yourself.
In my opinion being innovative in business is all about removing complexity and being smart and simple. Many people tend to think that being innovative is all about being technologically advanced or fully technology enabled. Not all the time.
Sometime removing the "technology" piece from the technology makes lot of impact.
Business need not have to start doing things differently all the time, it is important to start seeing things in a different angle. Any method, process that helps to fulfill the needs of the customer segment without too much of running around is called innovation.
In every service and product make your users feel more matured.
The messages you convey in marketing copy are great ways to show innovation. You can do it in two ways. First, you can write messages that push the boundaries of corporate communications--in an appropriate way that supports your brand in your industry. Second, you can think more deeply than anyone else in your industry and write messages that demand the attention of your target audience because they are so real, dynamic, thoughtful, inarguable and helpful.
1. Join appropriate associations-sponsor a happy hour at your place of biz
2. Contribute content and blog--dont pitch your company.
3. Listen at the association meetings-snail mail new friends
4. Your leadership should be most important part of innovation--its an innate characteristic and should be fostered and rewarded. Those who do not possess this should be rewarded for their contribution to assist those that do.
5.Do charity work.
6. Good luck--standing out from your competition is a life long pursuit. Differentiation.
7. Read Steve Blanks blog!!!!!!!!
One approach I always used, was to say "no idea is off the table for consideration." That way people are unafraid to suggest ideas, it promotes trust better. I also used the following "anyone who tells me no or way it won't work right away, costs them,, $1.00." Initially we collected a lot of dollars...I put them in what I called "Our cannot do can" and at the end of a time period purchased lunch or ice cream with that money...
Do you by chance have a Google account? If you do, try using Google Drive/Docs and share your documentation with your group. Just do the following:
1. Write out the script and type it out and don't forget to change the name so they know what the document is.
2. Select people on who you INITIALLY want to share the document with. Also, keep in mind that you are the manager of the document, so you can change other people's privileges to either edit, comment or view it.
3. Have a deadline in mine...always!
Very good answers from experts,I would like to add something.
Zack, you are in a business where creativity is your bread and butter.
So, I assume you *Actually* need innovation...Hire a few really creative mad men.
Create a formal agreement with them - make them responsible to "spread it" and pay them more on there success.
Let us know if it makes sense...
Implement group sessions and meetings that support this vision. An example would be a weekly brainstorming meeting where everyone brings at least three ideas to share with the group. You could then utilize whatever process the company uses to determine a new direction for growth and reward the person who's idea was used.
My expertise is creating cultures of Innovation, and I have worked in this field for a long time, with very large institutions.
First, you have to be aware of the fact that Innovation comes in many forms and guises - and be capable of identifying Innovation for what it is in the first place, which is a DISRUPTION or CHANGE of some kind, and not always comfortable for everyone...including you.
Second, once you can identify Innovation as it emerges into your reality, you need to be able to categorize it so as to be able to nurture it, typically by giving that innovation an IDENTITY, a CHAMPION, a TEAM and RESOURCES.
Third, you must be able to recognize in the Innovations you choose to nurture the potential for value creation in meaningful terms for your organization, within a time-window that is effective, efficient and sustainable for it.
I write extensively about this on my website, www.graham-leach.com
you will see innovation if you create a culture of curiousness. Reward your employees for trying out something new, taking the initiative, developing something new. One way of doing this is to attribute some time for them to pursue their own ideas. In addition, you want to show your appreciation when they are innovate. You could even let them present their ideas, write about them in a blog...Be cautious about your own behaviour though: If you tell them to be creative, but every time they make a suggestion, you cut it off immediately, you will not see them develop the way you want. Still, you don't want your employees to question everything you do. So be clear about your own boundaries.
And finally, to successfully communicate your idea of innovation, tell them a good story that shows what innovation is like for you. Please see below for a short Story for you about creating a culture.
One day, my sister went for a walk. She passed by a field where the local farmer kept his sheep. The grass was fresh and green. On the outside of the fence, it was even fresher and longer and greener.
What my sister saw was amazing: The fence happened to be broken and one of the sheep was curiously walking outside to the the fresher and greener grass. The rest of the herd kept standing inside the fence, their bah and meh growing louder. "This is wrong!", they seemed to say. "We are supposed to stay inside!" Suddenly, another sheep changed its mind, and then another one and soon the whole heard kept running out of the fence. Lucky for them (and the farmer), there was no major road nearby.
Innovation can be as easy as creatively solving the problems and issues that occur within the business. Be a business that addresses root cause analysis and continual improvement with fresh points of view and a willingness to try new things. Break out of set routines to stimulate ideas and engage in brainstorming sessions to loosen up cognitive input.
Simple! One must be willing to insure that any product or service offering follows a beat rate ahead of the top three competitors in the market segment you participate in. By keeping that beat rate your customer base as well as the industry followers and analyst will see you as an innovative company and reward you according.
According to my opinion, the most creative people in business look at the same things as everybody else but they see them differently. However, the innovators will indeed find the best and easiest route to get a project done. They possess a healthy arrogance. However, I presumed that Video marketing is one of the best options. Well, conferring on my experience, I would recommend you to go for Global Video Pros (https://www.globalvideopros.com/) because they efficiently transform their client's ideas into reality.