Innovation is for everyone. It generally refers to renewing, changing or creating more effective processes, products or ways of doing things. For businesses, innovation could mean implementing new ideas, creating dynamic products or improving your existing services. Innovation can be a catalyst for the growth and success of your business and help you adapt and grow in the marketplace. Being innovative doesn’t mean inventing, but it means to change your business model and adapt to changes in the environment in order to deliver better products or services.
If you are working on a start-up or an existing business here are some common ways to implement an environment for innovation to thrive:
- Conduct an analysis of the market environment such as your customer wants, needs and competitors. It helps if you are open to new ideas and are adaptive to change.
- Develop a responsive plan which includes innovation as a key business process.
- Train and empower employees (or your partners) to think inventively from the top down because inspirational leadership and motivation is what drives innovation in business.
- Create the environment which all the employees what to connect with customers and generate new ideas for improving processes, products and services both internally and externally.
- Utilize available resources, such as business advisers, grants, and other types of assistance to drive innovation in your business.
To commercialize a product you need to first develop a new product. Then develop a process which leads to the stage of releasing it to market. There are a number of steps that are usually undertaken prior to getting an idea to market as part of the innovation process. Use your networking opportunities, business mentors and case managers with skills to assist with your business. There are free programs in the United States such as SCORE which aim to help entrepreneurs and innovative businesses take their intellectual property to market. This program is tailored to the needs of all types of businesses and if you have a business or thinking of starting one, you should use SCORE (www.Score.org).
Be advised, innovation is the key to competitive advantage for your business, but the commercialization of an idea is the key to success. Let’s face it, a good product can’t do any good if it isn’t in the hands of the people that need it.
As usual, if you have any questions contact me via email or twitter (@ArberDoci).