Your Business MUST Innovate- Business Innovation – Part 1

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but according to Business week, a 40-year old adult is about two percent as creative as a five-year-old child. Extensive studies show that there is a 98 percent chance you were a creative genius before the age of four. Dr Seuss described adult people like you and me as “obsolete children.”*

 

So What happened, People?

 

Most of us grew up and joined the ‘Deadly Serious Party’. But don’t worry; there’s still hope. I’m delighted to see that there are still some opportunities for adult play, where grown-up people actually do enjoy letting themselves go. However, there needs to be a lot more of it today.I’m suggesting to you that if you want your business to be ridiculously successful, you need to get out there and PLAY. Let your creative juices run. Innovate a little.

 

Like the two Russian scientists playing with graphene and sellotape at the University of Manchester. Their playing resulted in them becoming Nobel Laureates in 2010 and generating the next big wave of graphene-based products. The uses are nearly limitless: flexible electronics that could be worn on clothes or folded up into a pocket, a new generation of very small computers, hyper-efficient solar panels, super-fast mobile phones, water purification, bullet-proof vests, electricity conductors, computer components, and even car & plane components. This product promises to transform the future. Graphene, a two-dimensional crystal of pure carbon, is a superlative material. It is the thinnest and strongest substance known to science—about 100 times stronger than steel by weight. A square metre of graphene which is a thousand times thinner than paper, can be made into a hammock which would be strong enough to cradle a 4kg cat. But that same hammock would weigh no more than one of the cat’s whiskers. All this discovered because of simple play. **

 

What is Innovation? The most Successful Entrepreneurs Achieve Innovation by:

 

● continuously looking for better ways

 

● satisfying their consumer base and adding customer value

 

● meeting new requirements, unexpressed needs, or unsatisfied customer and market needs

 

● improving quality, durability, service, and price.

 

Innovation answers these needs through more effective products, processes and services by using advanced technologies and organizational strategies.

Your business MUST Innovate for a Number of Reasons:

 

● Innovation of products, services and organizational capabilities can help generate explosive growth.

 

● Innovation can help ensure that you aren’t just a commodity business on low margins.

 

● Innovation can help you meet customers’ demands and expectations which demand more and more from your brand—thus increasing the lifetime value of your customers. (See touchpoints)

 

● Innovation can help you do more with less, improving your profitability.

 

For the most part, innovation builds on something that is already there. Did you know that when Gutenberg invented the printing press he brought together a wine press, and a coin stamp? Gutenberg came from the wine-producing Rhine Valley. He combined functional objects to perform a function that was totally different from their conventional use. His innovation revolutionised access to information.

 

Similarly, Apple wasn’t the first to make an MP3 player. The company built onto an existing product to create a SYSTEM that included the original product and the ability to store music. People speak of the iPod, but really, the killer innovation was the system that made it work.

 

Sure, most of us aren’t Steve Jobs, Gutenberg or Russian scientists, but we can still dream and play. However, you need to ensure that you are playing in the right sandpit. Before you start innovating away, go through the basics of defining your business strategy. How long has it been since you did a decent SWOT analysis? These are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. How long since you actively watched your customers use your product or service? You must do this first, or you will waste a lot of your valuable time.

 

Now that we’ve established how important it is to play, I want to show you how to do so in a productive way. But that’s for next time, so be sure to catch part two.

 

Graeme Stevens
CEO and Co-Founder
neXtep easy
www.nextepeasy.com

 

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