In the recent 2019 Global Innovation Index, Australia ranked 22nd, well behind some of the world’s smallest economies like Singapore, Luxembourg and Iceland. It is interesting to note as well, in a survey commissioned by Ricoh, only 2 in 5 Australian business leaders believe innovation is critical to business survival. One would expect a higher figure given the intense nature of global competition.
From Kodak, Blockbuster to Toys R Us, we have seen the demise of well-known brands because of the lack of innovation. If it can happen to them, it can happen to you. It is becoming imperative for Australian businesses to adopt an innovation mindset – to be open to digital transformation. Every business must have a pipeline of innovative business ideas.
In this article, we share 4 steps you can take to embrace innovation and digital transformation. The aim is to first create the mindset shift followed by active implementation of these steps in your business.
Your organization culture must encourage the generation of ideas. Management must empower everyone to challenge the status quo. Whether it be products and services or the way things are done, a culture must prevail where the questions “How can this be done differently?” and “What if people no longer need our product?” must punctuate conversations at work.
Ideation should not be an annual affair. It has to be an on-going business growth activity.
2. Filtering ideas
For ideas to be transformed into innovation, they have to be subjected to a transparent process of evaluation. Inevitably, there will be winners and losers. But the latter should not discourage anyone from continuing to contribute to the business’ ideation activities.
In small businesses, engaging the client’s participation in the filtering process can be a consideration. If anything, it will demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of work.
Unless an idea is brought to life, it remains an imagination. If it is an internal process, the initiative poses a minimal risk in the event of failure. But the stakes are higher for new products. Pilot launches, or small scale launches, help contain the risk. Feedback can be used to improve the product, or maybe abandoning it if necessary.
Where feasible, businesses should consider pre-launch market research. Thanks to technology, market research has become more affordable to undertake. But the involvement of a market research professional is important. Their experience and expertise are worth the investment.
A major mistake small businesses make is launching without a plan. They tend to adopt a “let’s see how it goes” attitude. This is planning to fail. A plan outlines the goals, the strategy to achieve them and key performance indicators. Proper evaluation of the new product’s or service’s progress keeps the people behind the idea engaged. It raises awareness too that all innovation contributes to the bottom-line.
Linking Business Innovations
At vLinkD, we are passionate about business innovation and digital transformation. A successful digital transformation strategy is driven by the innovation behind it, not just the technology. Speak to us to learn more about business innovation strategies.