You hear the word all the time. Especially in business publications and websites, it seems the word “innovation” has devolved from a true business strategy to a trivial buzzword. Don’t let the overuse of the word stop you from benefiting from the positive impact innovation can have on your business.
The Innovation Mindset
In a September 2016 Harvard Business Review article, Clayton Christensen detailed the process of discovery that led a building company to discover the real problem their condominiums had to solve was not which features empty-nesters needed in a condo, but dealing with the anxiety involved in selling a family home of many years and letting go of furniture and other items full of emotional value.
There are many methods for developing an interest in and practice of innovation in a company, but the key to success with any of them is the development of an “innovation mindset” in the company. Think of the innovation mindset as an attitude shared by everyone in the company to being open to new ways of addressing company challenges and customer needs.
One of the easiest methods for getting started is using Clayton Christensen’s “jobs to be done” method (JTBD) outlined in the HBR article. In the JTBD framework, the aim is to determine what an individual is really seeking to accomplish in a given circumstance, and developing a solution for that need.
Getting Innovation Started
In business, innovation is usually connected to changing processes or creating more effective processes or products. Notice that innovation does not necessarily mean inventing something. Even an incremental change could be innovative if it creates a real competitive advantage.
Getting innovation kickstarted in your business or department is not complicated. Find ways to innovate by:
- Scanning the marketplace for customer needs that aren’t being met, or met well, by you or your competitors
- Keeping an open mind about new ideas and technologies
- Consulting with customers and employees to generate ideas for improving processes or products
- Seeking advice from subject matter experts inside and outside your industry
The real benefits of innovation have been proven over and over again in businesses large and small. The reasons so many businesses endeavor to create a culture of innovation in their organization is the proven ability to improve productivity, reduce cost, increase competitiveness and improve brand value.
Are you or members of your team addressing perceived problems or the real job needing to be done in your company? Creating a mindset focused on identifying the jobs to be done can go a long way towards developing a culture of innovation.
Triple Helix brings an innovation mindset to every engagement. If your company needs help developing a culture of innovation contact us to schedule a meeting to discuss our methods and capabilities.