Many startups and established organizations struggle with the basic idea of business innovation. They are either seen floundering with the concept or struggling to understand the need for its implementation in their business models at all.
To understand the benefits of innovation in companies, let us first address some pertinent questions to comprehend the basic premise of business innovation.
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What is innovation?
Innovation refers to the coming up with new and improved ways of doing things. It is the changing processes and/or the creation of more effective processes, ideas, and products.
Therefore, being innovative does not just mean inventing something but also changing and adapting to the existing things to make them better and more effective for humanity.
Businesses are increasingly embracing the concept of innovation in their day-to-day processes these days and for an excellent reason. There is a dire need for businesses to innovate if they wish to stay ahead of the competition and find success.
Why do businesses need to innovate?
There are countless reasons for the need for innovation in businesses today. According to the Deloitte Innovation Survey conducted in 2015, 66% of the total respondents mentioned that innovation is critical for growth.
Companies that innovate succeed in adding more employees as well as scaling up. This further enables them to take up more customers as well as grab a larger share of the market.
In the same vein, innovation is also critical to move past the competition as well as to enhance your business strategies. It is interesting to note that different industry experts interpret the meaning of innovation differently. They are often seen indulging in hot debates over the most efficient operation of innovation processes.
In fact, according to an interview conducted by IBN of 1500 CEOs, almost all of them agreed that coming up with new and fresh ideas is the key to survive and grow as a business. Moreover, modern innovation is interpreted uniquely by every single individual.
Ways to innovate
A number of ways exist for businesses to innovate in the present times. Methods such as home-grown solutions, venture capital corporates, and accelerator programs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to innovation.
Some experts posit that the best way to implement innovation in business is to acquire startups. Although effective, this option could potentially be expensive in the long run.
That said, it can also lead to the growth of a company because acquiring startups also leads to possessing their resources, capital support, strategic support, as well as office space.
An accelerator program is another buzzword today that is used with innovation. Accelerator programs are cohort-based, fixed-term programs that comprise seed investment, sales, connections, educational components, etc.
In these programs, startups participate in various workshops, mentorship programs, and pitching sessions to scale their business or carry it to the market. An essential aspect of accelerator programs is to seek and get funding from investors.
Many accelerator programs even comprise special sessions where businesses can present their ideas and thoughts amidst real investors. This is a great opportunity offered by accelerator programs, which is otherwise challenging to come by on any other platform.
An “Innovation Lab” is another great emerging concept in the field of business innovation. It is essentially a physical environment that is created inside a company.
It is a place where innovation activities and programs are built for individuals working in the company. Here, they can all meet as well as work on innovative ideas with new technologies, networks, and knowledge to bring something novel to the table.
There are many more corporate innovation business models that can be incorporated by businesses worldwide. However, they need to find which model works best for them and is the right fit for their business, keeping their end goal in mind.
It would not be wrong to say that corporate innovation is not something out-of-the-box. It is something that differs for all kinds of businesses.
This is also something that most businesses struggle with, and it is common to see startups as well as established companies not doing well today when it comes to incorporating innovation in their business processes.
The main reason for this struggle in large companies is the fear of failure. It ultimately inhibits risk and speed, leading to the downfall of a company.
In this context, irrespective of whether you are a startup or a seasoned company, it is essential to remember that innovation is synonymous with experimentation. It is crucial to experiment to find the right business model that fits your innovation process.
It is equally critical to remember that failure is usually the norm and not the exception. Therefore, the criterion for innovation is not innovation itself but seeking the perfect innovation model for your business.
Today, innovation is most definitely a necessity and must not be considered an option. When (not if) you do decide to innovate in the context of your business, you must ensure well in advance that you as well as your team is completely ready for the drastic changes.
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You must also consider every step that you decide to take to ensure success. Most of all, you must not be scared to fail because, at the end of the day, it is the failures that bring us the best lessons. This holds especially true in the case of business innovation.
It is equally essential to keep in mind that collaboration is key. The moment you think that you can do it all yourself, you will be setting yourself up for massive failure, no matter how talented and driven you are.
So, choose wisely and innovate away!