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Business Innovation – Are you ready?

Business Innovation

Image credit: Jakob Lawitzki

 

As we enter the age of innovation, we pose the question – is your business ready to innovate? If you answer YES to the following 5 questions you get an A+ for innovation preparation.

Are you close to your customers?

Do you know where you have opportunities to improve? Do you know where the pain points are in your customer experience? Do you have a social presence? Are you getting feedback and how do you use it?

 

Are you agile?

Can you make changes to your CMS, internal processes & procedures or products, quick and dirty? How long does it take? Days? Weeks?

If it takes months for moderately/small-sized changes and innovations, then prepare to be disrupted friends. Digital disruptors and likely your direct competitors both have a significant advantage on you.

 

Do you contribute to your industry?

You need to keep your finger on the pulse, and you need to be faster than the competition. Competitions like topcoder are sparking innovation on a grand scale with hackathons. Sticking with the developer theme, HP have made their IDOL on demand API’s available to anyone. Dev’s are using these API’s to create a range of solutions that are causing disruption and pioneering new territory. How do you contribute?

 

Do you have an official innovation program?

Like most change management, innovation has a much better chance of success if there is a directive from the top. Corporate incubators and labs generally do not happen without the C-Suite being involved. Is it time you jumped on this bandwagon?

 

Are you prepared to fail?

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” — Henry Ford

Trying something new comes with risk, and you need to be able to manage that risk. It’s important to ‘fail forward’. Repeatedly soft launch your product or service with both internal stakeholders and external customers. This means literally sending the idea—be it a product or a service—into a limited part of the marketplace with the full understanding that it will be modified (perhaps extensively) based on how that initial feedback.

 

Real failure is fear of launching an idea until it is perfect.

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