Business Innovation: What it is and What it is Not

Last week, I wrote about how and why the most prized, but often overlooked asset of any organization is its capacity to change and innovate.  

But as I wrote in that post, innovation can be a scary and often misunderstood word and concept.  

And unfortunately many entrepreneurs and executives who otherwise could be excellent innovators and change agents simply are NOT, and thereby their companies suffer.

The key idea is that innovation isn’t that hard and is well within the ability and capacity of any executive of serious and high stamina ambition. Simply:

Business Innovation is…

…accepting that it is impossible to do something new in a business – a new marketing campaign, a new hire, a new product launch – without also accepting that that new thing has a significant probability of not working. And doing it anyway.

Business Innovation is not…

…positive thinking that sits in a vacuum. Yes, the effective executive always focuses on opportunities and not problems. But when leading change initiatives, he or she does so with both a thoroughness of preparation and mature respect for competitive challenges and realities.

Business Innovation is…

…understanding that all modern companies are technology companies.

That technology may be in actual hardware and software sold to customers, or in how an otherwise “low tech” business utilizes it to improve the efficiencies of key work processes – marketing, sales, operations, organization design, customer service, etc.

Business Innovation is not…

…believing that one’s own business, because of its age, its type of work, its bureaucracy, is permanently “stuck” and incapable of changing and growing.

Rather, Business Innovation is…

…believing in the power of “cascading” change – small improvements that on their own might seem insignificant, but because of their “multiplier effect” on other key processes, have a dramatic impact on growth and the bottom line.

This is particularly true in our digital business age because as we increase our marketing to sales conversions percentages only slightly, we are in turn able to increase instantaneously the size of our marketing budget, which in turn immediately grows revenues and gross profits.

However, Business Innovation is not…

…believing that we are just one change away from breakout success.

The sturdy and wizened modern executive recognizes that no one business breakthrough – that new product launch, that great new client (or hire), raising growth capital, etc. – ensures our ultimate success. Modern competitive forces dictate otherwise, so the best we realistically can hope for is temporary success from any one innovation.

Instead, Business Innovation is..

…with the whole of our professional being committing to ongoing change attempts, i.e. that the very definition of what makes up a honest day’s work includes examining with a cold, dispassionate eye all of our work processes, and then every business day acting to improve one or several of them in ways big and small.

But Business Innovation is not…

…believing we have to come up with and make happen all of the positive change in our companies on our own.

Help is always available, from our work colleagues of course, and also from the limitless universe of “around the world” consultants and contractors accessible to us at the click of a button.

Yes, the Capacity to Innovate is the most prized asset for any business seeking to:

a) Protect itself against obsolescence, from a fire sale, from bankruptcy;

b) “Turnaround” from a recent string of declining sales / underwhelming growth;

c) Structurally enhance the sustainability of its long-term success.

So let’s plan to innovate and then let’s innovate to be successful.

And then innovate some more to maintain and build upon that success.

We start by defining ourselves as innovators, we “walk the talk” with consistent and ongoing innovation – focused thoughts and actions, and then…

…we watch the magic happen.

Follow Us
Let Us Help You

Get a Free Consultation
with a Growthink Expert

Recent Posts
Blog Categories​
[for="inf_misc_Pleasegiveusabriefoverviewofyourbusinessandorcurrentchallenges"]
[for="inf_misc_Pleasegiveusabriefoverviewofyourbusinessandorcurrentchallenges"]
[for="inf_misc_Pleasegiveusabriefoverviewofyourbusinessandorcurrentchallenges"]
[for="inf_misc_Pleasegiveusabriefoverviewofyourbusinessandorcurrentchallenges"]
[for="inf_misc_Pleasegiveusabriefoverviewofyourbusinessandorcurrentchallenges"]
[for="inf_misc_Pleasegiveusabriefoverviewofyourbusinessandorcurrentchallenges"]