There’s more to innovation than just a great idea
All start-ups begin with one brilliant idea, but how can you keep the innovative spirit going as your business grows? Can you teach innovation and why is reaching the market not the end of the story.
All these points and more are considered in a very interesting article by John Bessant, professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter.
John suggests that some businesses get it wrong by confusing innovation with ideation – basically, not understanding the long, collaborative and possibly frustrating road that will need to be travelled before your idea hits the shelves. He also points out that innovation for its own sake is not going to be automatically beneficial; you need to understand how your idea will add value to what your business offers. There also needs to be a strategy for “where and how the innovation is going to get your business to where it needs to be.”
Collaboration is crucial to innovation, as only then can you source the additional skills and expertise you need to turn a good idea into a great reality. Also, larger businesses can maintain the adventurous spirit of the start-up by keeping an open mind about the ways in which they can evolve and change. Look not just at how you can make your products or services better, John says, but also at how you can innovate with your processes and systems.
Does your business model offer scope for innovation? John cites as an example Airbnb, which has become the world’s largest accommodation provider without owning a single hotel.
Last but certainly not least, people are any business’s biggest source of potential innovation. By creating a culture in which people feel confident enough to contribute ideas, a company has an unlimited supply of passion, creativity and inspiration.
Did your big idea result from a team effort, or perhaps a more unexpected source? Get in touch with our team on 0800 772 0800 and share your story.