What exactly is business innovation? Is it a company’s ability to dream up a new and improved product? Is it a better way of doing business or providing services to your customers? Does it represent a more efficient and effective internal process within your company? Yes. Yes. And yes. All of the above.
To some, business innovation is a science – rational, methodical, and predictable. I prefer to see business innovation as more of an art – part science, but with a healthy dose of creativity and fearless ingenuity.
What is the genesis of the next best-selling car? It is a creative design team member, working on a white board or with clay, sculpting the outlines of the vehicle by hand, possibly mimicking the contours of another natural or man-made object that captures his or her imagination.
Then you bring in the engineers, the CAD team, the developers, and the focus groups to build out and test the proposition. But it starts with an idea, sparked by a creative moment by a talented employee.
How do I get one of those you might be asking? One of those creative employees who could be the ticket to your company’s next hot product or service? I’m guessing you already have more than one of these employees who are capable of such feats. Your challenge is to find and develop this talent.
Artists and innovators need the right stimulation. They need a suitable environment that promotes imaginative thought. And most importantly, they need a corporate culture that embraces, not discourages, new and original thinking.
Starting today, commit to a business innovation program that seeks to engage employees, managers, and executives in a new way. Shine light on those who show promise and inventive traits. Challenge them with provocative training and events that develop their talents. Cultivate the artist in them. Once you’re able to get this down to a science, you’ll likely be one step ahead of your competitors.