Most successful companies start with a creative idea from a visionary businessman. Being creative equals to innovation and innovation breakthrough growth. Most companies have not grown the last decade and brave gone from strong growth to low or no growth.
One of the reasons for not growing is focusing all the strategies on a single or group of products or services. Today most markets are scheduled with little or no differentiation. Stagnation brings lack of innovation and consequently lack of growth.
It is important for companies to apply new strategies to be able to survive and grow. Times are challenging and ways of thinking have to change. The following points should be a guideline of what successful companies are doing in these tough times:
- Look for and deliver real value to customers. Solve their issues, develop ways to identify their problems and meet their expectations.
- Products and services have to be customer oriented. Leverage your strengths and develop new and creative products and services that meet your customer's expectations.
- Analyze who and what your company is, look at the advantages over other businesses and transmit those findings to your clients.
- Innovation does not mean only creating new products or services. Innovation is also finding new ways to streamline processes, to lower costs. Companies should involve and reward personnel for their ideas and their commitment.
- Innovation is a process not a magical stick. As all processes it has to be managed and understood. It is better to generate lots of creative ideas than just to focus or one big project.
- The more ideas leaders and team members generate the better. The best ideas come from the employees that work directly with the customer. Manager and leaders have to support customer service employees.
- Consultants can also generate innovative products and services, engage them as they come from the outside with new and clear options.
- Create focus groups incorporating team members and clients. Incorporate into the products and services the findings to be able to deliver value to the customer and generate new and more sales.
Innovation is challenging. It is a group process not an individual task. Employees and staff members have to be on board, they have to be motivated and integrated in a proper environment. The more people involved in the process the better chance there is to come up with creative ideas and differentiated product or service.
Innovation involves several steps:
- Defining the opportunity
- Team collaboration and participation
- Management believe and investor participation
- Investment of resources (time, dedication and commitment)
- The use of new and appropriate techniques
Innovation leads to growth, it is not only a tool to take a business from one level to the other it also motivates teams and organization. A well motivated team will innovate and the company will grow, it is a cycle that companies have to believe in.