There has been a lot of stress on the importance of innovation in many of our previous posts. Yes, it is true innovation is the need of the hour (am sure most of our readers will agree!), but then why isn't your company implementing it? What are the roadblocks?Generally it has been seen that one (or more) of the following barriers have been responsible:
Too much emphasis on maintaining status quo
one of the most common issues that ails traditional family setups in the business world. It works something like this : lets say you are investing money M which earns you a profit P, and you stay satisfied with it. What you often tend to overlook is that if you invest an amount N in innovation, it will earn you an additional profit p1 and the ratio (P+p1)/(M+N) will obviously be greater than P/M. There is an attitude in Indian subcontinent which we often say as “chalta hain” (everything works), unfortunately with globalization nothing which works today will work in the next decade. So think about it !
Tolerating failure: As an entrepreneur, it is extremely important to be able to accept failures. Sounds ironical !! isn’t it ? But it is true. In fact you had also failed so many times before you finally succeeded. The same holds true for innovation: Don’t look for immediate returns and do not allow short term failures deter your long term goals !
3. Is your second name “Innovation” ?
Innovations don’t happen by accident ! Only companies which focus on innovation in their daily processes come up trumps ! It isn’t like the CEO has to come up with innovative ideas, infact the most innovative ideas generally come from blue collar operators as they are the closest to the centre of action in real-time. Have an incentive plan and approach suggestions with an open mind. In fact the Toyota Production System is the right methodology to follow.
4. Decentralization ?
Though I personally believe in decentralization being more effective, yet care should be taken that units work like the same team. Often the gaps or rather innovation opportunities lies in the grey areas connecting the two processes.Companies should focus on harnessing talents and managing activities across its different business processes if it intends to achieve breakthrough innovations.
5. Dream big !
Often people lack the ability to dream big. As Friedman had pointed out in his book “World is Flat”, it has indeed become so and in order to achieve it: Innovation is the key. So, invest in it. Don’t have a small vision. Dream big, make big !
Food for thought: How much of your revenues are you willing to invest in innovation?