If you want your company to stay ahead of the innovation curve, you must develop innovative ideas on a continuous basis. For technology companies, innovations are a critical part of creating successful new products that maintain a competitive edge.
If you don’t maintain a steady flow of innovative ideas, one of your competitors will develop the next “must have” product in your industry and steal your customers. Don’t let this happen to your company in 2017. Start taking action right now to develop an Innovation Strategy that produces a constant stream of new ideas that generate competitive new products and position your company as a market leader.
Here are 3 tips you can start using today to foster more innovative ideas in your organization.
1. Create An Innovation Group – Attempting to launch a company-wide innovation program often triggers a strong protest because it might cause disruptions to the operation of the business. Employees are already overloaded, so a new innovation program is typically met with resistance. But, I have successfully used Innovation Groups to launch (and expand) innovation programs in a variety of companies. A small Innovation Group (6-8 employees) can generate a multitude of valuable ideas without upsetting the day-to-day operations of the business.
If you want more details on creating an Innovation Group in your company, download my free Innovation Strategy Checklist and QuickStart Guide, which discusses how to create your own innovation group as well as many other innovation tips. Enter your email address in the form below to get your free copy of the Innovation Strategy Checklist.
2. Schedule “Innovation Breaks” – Encourage everyone in your organization to take regular innovation breaks. Something as simple as a 10 minute break twice a week can generate some fantastic ideas that solve existing problems or provide seed ideas for competitive new products. During these innovation breaks, people need to change their environment – they must get out of their usual workplace and find a different setting.
A change of scenery can eliminate or reduce many of the distractions to give your mind some “creative space.” During my innovation breaks, I go for a walk outside – it’s a complete change of environment from my office.
Some people do their best creative thinking in quiet areas, while others find inspiration in noisy environments, like a coffee shop. Encourage people to find their best environment for innovative thinking and visit that environment at least a couple times a week.
And, be sure you have a system in place to record and evaluate all of those great ideas being generated during the innovation breaks.
3. Develop A Well-Defined Innovation Strategy – “According to PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), almost 80% of the world’s most innovative companies have a well-defined and thought-through innovation strategy.” (Fortune Magazine)
A well-designed Innovation Strategy ignites a creative fire within your organization that produces a constant stream of innovative ideas. These ideas can generate new products that position your company as a market leader. And, that market leadership position can attract top quality employees and help retain your existing employees.
If you don’t have an Innovation Strategy, or you want to expand your existing strategy, start today! You can begin by implementing the first two tips mentioned above. Then, continue to broaden your Innovation Strategy to include more activities and more people within your organization. As you build your Innovation Strategy, you will develop an innovation culture that generates new ideas throughout the company.
If you want more tips for creating or expanding your Innovation Strategy, download my free Innovation Strategy Checklist and QuickStart Guide by entering your email address in the form on the right side of this page.
2017 can be a great year for your company. Get started today by implementing just one or two innovation activities. Select one of the tips above or one of the activities described in the Innovation Strategy Checklist.