Low-risk innovation

Innovation doesn’t have to be radical. In fact, even conservative, risk-averse organisations can be innovative.

Many directors and managers are hesitant to embrace innovation. They feel risk-taking does not resonate with their business culture.

Of course, it makes perfect sense to be risk averse. Some companies are rather ‘smart followers’ and gladly leave the risk taking to other organisations.

These are obviously not the organisations where market-shattering disruptions spring into existence. Radically changing the way things are done is not appreciated here, let alone that ‘killing the company’ is an option!

Clearly, this is a business culture where innovation is virtually impossible …or is it?

Well, not necessarily.

Low-risk innovation

Here’s the thing; innovation doesn’t have to be radical and disruptive. It’s a misconception to think that innovation has to be a high-risk endeavour. In fact, ‘small’ low-risk innovations can be extremely valuable.

Instead of revolutionising your market, you can focus on improving products, services or processes. You can also choose to use creative thinking to solve an annoying business problem.

Improving your current products or services and solving tricky problems is a low-risk way of innovating. Especially when you use rapid prototyping to quickly and cheaply test the viability of your idea.

Improvements and small fixes might be less sexy than world-changing innovations, but that doesn’t mean they are any less useful to an organisation.

Don’t let your aversion towards risk stop you from innovating. Your organisation might not be the one changing the world …but it doesn’t have to grind to a halt either.

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