The ABC’s of Business Basics Series – I is for Innovation
What’s one really big advantage a small company has over a large one?
The smaller company can adopt innovation and introduce change quickly. Innovation can result in increased revenue, cost reduction, better client relations, improve your competitive edge, and create an exciting work environment.
Let’s not confuse innovation with creativity. WhatIs.com defines ‘Innovation’ as, “an organization’s process for introducing new ideas, workflows, methodologies, services or products.”
As Siyana Sokolova states in her blog:
“Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation. And there is no innovation without creativity. While creativity is the ability to produce new and unique ideas, innovation is the implementation of that creativity – that’s the introduction of a new idea, solution, process, or product.
Creativity is the driving force behind innovation and the incorporation of looking at things from a different perspective and freedom of restrictions by rules and written or unwritten norms.”
Here’s a recent example of a simple, but impactful innovative idea.
I recently took a WestJet flight on my way home from Costa Rica. After boarding the plane in Liberia, the plane was reversing, preparing to taxi to the landing strip. I looked out the window and saw 5 men walking towards the plane, all in a row.
They all stopped and unfurled a banner with a WestJet logo on it. The banner was held and directed towards the plane. It read, “Thank you for visiting Costa Rica. Come back soon. Pura Vida.”
The whole planeload of people laughed, smiled, waved and took pictures to post on social media when they arrived home. What a powerful way to make a lasting impression!
Someone had come up with the idea, and then a team had created a plan to carry out the farewell message for every WestJet flight that left the country.
Here’s 5 ways you can create a culture of innovation in your company:
- Hold regular idea generation meetings and involve your staff whenever possible. At each meeting, pick one area of the business to concentrate on. Pose a pre-planned question or two.
For example, if you are a retailer you might ask the question, “How can we sell more at our POS?” or “How can we get our staff excited about the new fall line-up?” Be sure and give everyone an opportunity to share ideas.
Remind your staff that there are no bad ideas.
- Hold follow-up meetings with your leadership team. Use the terms, ‘feasibility’, ‘desirability’, and ‘viability’ as your guidelines to evaluate ideas.
- Keep the great ideas stored somewhere. Not every idea can be adopted right now, but you never know when they can be used.
- >Once an idea is adopted, create an action and implementation plan. Examine current practices and brainstorm new ideas for improved efficiency, increased revenue, or better client relations.
Identify who will be involved and what specific steps need to be taken, then attach working deadlines. Hold everyone accountable to the process.
- Book time in your management meetings for discussion around innovation. Create a culture of research. Encourage information sharing, both from a local and global perspective.
Monitor trends, and be open to new ideas. Encourage outside the box thinking.
Business innovation is crucial in our fast-paced world. Technology often demands response quickly.
Be brave. Be unique. Be innovative.
About the Author, Pamela Chatry
Do you work too hard? Is your business in chaos? If you are struggling with business issues, contact Pamela Chatry for a complimentary assessment. Pamela has been a trusted and highly respected Business Consultant, Mentor for Women in Business, Self-Employment Advocate, Trainer and Keynote Speaker for over 25 years.
Visit www.pamelachatry.com or call her at 778-856-8970 for help in getting your business to its fullest potential.