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Innovation – is it the way out?
The downturn, recession, or whatever else you like to call it, has put innovation back high on the agenda. Analysts and governments alike are highlighting innovation as the way through this. But what do they actually mean?
Innovation in its purest form is about making brand more powerful. Being seen as innovative will undoubtedly increase share price as confidence in the brand grows, increasing revenue from a growing band of loyal and trusting customers.
There are many types of innovation, from technology and product to marketing and business. Normally you will find the technology and product innovation guys at the top of the innovation league tables – but this year “Team Obama” made it to the top with their marketing innovations.
Business Innovation is a tricky one to get your head around. It is not obvious what it is about. Mainly focused on innovation in business processes, business models and market offerings, some of the key brands in this space include Virgin, eBay, Amazon, … [Happy for you to challenge or add others!]
Not all businesses are going, or want, to be innovators, to be leaders … so for those that don’t, what does “innovation will get you through the downturn” actually mean?
Innovative ideas create better value – that is more value, more quickly – and as all businesses are continually looking to improve, adopting innovation practices will help them to improve the way they are improving through ensuring change creates more value more quickly.
Innovation promotes increased collaboration which will lead to ideas from a more diverse set of sources and thus more chance of better ideas. It also encourages a higher level of creativity, encouraging more ideas to be explored before the ones to be adopted are selected.
Innovation also encourages proactivity, helping businesses to react to opportunities and threats early and thus gain more value with less resources.
These are just a few ways that adopting innovation practices will help a business to improve more quickly – and these practices are important and of values for all businesses, large and small, across all sectors, whether or not they are looking to become innovators.