Why Rock The Boat? – six good reasons to innovate

 In Innovation

“We are an excellent company. We’re doing great and we don’t have the need to innovate. Why should we transform our business when there is no real reason to change?”

A valid question. Why would you develop and implement new ideas when you are already busy enough executing the old ones? Besides, why would you take the risk of trying something new, when the current way of doing things works just fine?

With the hustle and bustle of day-to-day work, it’s no wonder so many organisations are struggling with innovation. Every manager likes to be called an innovator, yet there are only a handful of men and women that are actually taking the risks that are necessary. Most managers stick to the usual or develop weak ‘me-too propositions’.

You can find many arguments not to innovate; “We are too busy. This isn’t the right moment. We are in the middle of a reform. We don’t need it, we have enough customers. We have to finish some deadlines first. We don’t have the time right now to handle innovation on top of our current schedule.” etc. etc.

No matter how many arguments you can find, the fact stays the same. Whether YOU change or not, everything else will change eventually. The question is, are you prepared to take a leap of faith in change? Or are you a dinosaur obediently waiting for extinction?

In last week’s article, René wrote about why you do not necessarily need to be a disruptive organisation to be an innovative one. Innovation is in anyone’s scope. And it is not just about cool gadgets or working with the latest technology. Above all, it’s about showing your legitimacy and securing your organisation’s future.

To convince you once and for all, I’ll give you 6 reasons why innovation is vital for every organisation, including yours.

You Always Need To Keep Distinguishing Yourself

Having an excellent company is not enough. You have to be extraordinary to stay attractive to your clients. You have to think along with them and be a creative, flexible team player. You don’t develop new products and services for yourself, you do it for your clients. Innovation is not a luxury, it is necessary if you want to stay appealing.

If You Don’t Innovate, Someone Else Will

Apart from the usual suspects (your competitors), there are always other threats lurking in the background. These days every high school kid with a computer can start a company in their parent’s garage and disrupt your business within no time. Thanks to the internet, knowledge has become accessible to anyone. All you need is a creative idea and the right mindset to turn an idea into a viable business. Make sure you are not caught by surprise. Out-innovate the innovators.

To Stand Still Is To Regress

There is no progress without change. We are operating in Darwinian times; it’s adapt or die. Keeping things the way they are will work …until it doesn’t. Since things are changing more rapidly than ever, it’s not a very clever strategy to stick to the usual and stay inside your comfort zone.

No matter how great your products or services are, you are not working in a vacuum. The traditional way of working will only get you the old results for as long as nothing changes and no one changes the rules. Don’t be conservative, be a game changer.

The World Is Changing

Sustainability, peer to peer economy, energy storage, robotica, domotica, nano technology, cloud computing, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, automation of knowledge work, wearables, computing everywhere, genomics, virtual and augmented reality, big data, drones, IoT, 3D printing. A lot of great stuff is happening. And it can cause quite some waves in your market.

If you want to stay on top of the game you have to make tough decisions. Have a clear innovation strategy and utilise the trends that work to your advantage.

The world is changing, and your customers are changing with it.

Customers Adjust, Markets Vanish

Do you still buy CDs? Or use a fax machine? And do you still send people mail via the postal system? I don’t think so.

Things change and people change with it.  It’s great to stick to traditions, yet stubbornness can be quite dangerous in a business context. Great entrepreneurs and managers jump on the bandwagon before it is too late.

If your customer is adapting to new technology so should you. It’s the least they expect you to do.

Thereby, if you develop new products and services you also help your clients to innovate. You help them to look creative and to achieve better results. You clients will be very grateful if you make them look like visionaries and innovators. In the end, they will reward you for this.

 

Innovative Companies Attract Innovative People

Last but not least; the employees. Innovators like to work at innovative companies. A true self-fulfilling prophecy. Talented people like to be challenged. They do not want to have a nine to five job at a conservative, mediocre company. They want to create new stuff, revolutionise products and services and make a real difference. The best part; they are willing to work very hard to achieve all of this.

Hire innovators and your company will learn a lot. Innovate as a company and talents will want to work for you to help you to realise sustainable innovation.

 

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