Top 8 reasons – importance of innovation to your business today

Change is accelerating so quickly, making innovation an urgent strategic & systemic necessity, as well as the key competitive lever left to ensure  organizational survival & sustainability. Living now in the Disruption, Digitization & Connection Ages, our attention needs to be on both enhancing adaptability, creativity, inventiveness and at the same time,  exploring what it means to be human as well as developing customer empathy. Leaders, businesses and organisations have the opportunity to thrive and flourish, in VUCA times, by acknowledging the importance of innovation today through understanding the top 8 reasons.

Doing this successfully, in the context of innovation, means your organization will learn how to adapt and evolve, by integrating innovation into their strategy, and by contextualizing innovation & cultivating an innovation culture through:

  • Being bold in taking on the innovation challenge build people’s readiness & receptivity to change,
  • Assisting people to resolve their unconscious biases & resistance to it,
  • Enabling people to experiment & take smart risks,
  • Supporting & permitting people to rock the “business as usual” boat, disrupt their complacency & safely disrupt the status quo.

Organizations who see the importance of innovation and  act upon the opportunities & possibilities for change through innovation in the current volatile & uncertain, business environment will survive  & thrive in a future we cannot predict or control. They will apply innovation as a strategic, systemic, human-centred & technological lever for developing agile & innovative organizational cultures, accountable business management processes & developing global industry eco-systems.

Doing this will enable them to successfully compete, sustain and even flourish in the face of the range of emerging adverse & fluctuating economic & business conditions. 

What are the core business benefits?

This gives organizations the opportunity to maximize the possibilities in adopting new business methodologies, models, systems & processes to achieve their desired key business outcomes;

  • Increase ROI to shareholders,
  • Achieve business growth goals & improve bottom line results,
  • Increase business value to make the business attractive to shareholders, mergers & acquisitions,
  • Make productivity & efficiency gains to increase profitability,
  • Compete successfully to increase market share & extend product lifecycles,
  • Respond quickly by developing the internal capability in both human & technology resources to change direction & do things differently.

To out compete their competitors & not fall prey to industry disruptors, ultimately to create changes to improve the quality of people’s lives in ways that they value & cherish.

How else can innovation save the business world?

At ImagineNation™ we believe passionately that make innovation a visionary strategic lever for change, business transformation, management, profitability and overall sustainability. It is also a systemic lever that engages, empowers and enables people to affect business breakthroughs and deliver profound culture, system, process, product and people changes. The result is increased organizational engagement, reach, competitiveness, faster business growth and increased business value to enable businesses to flow and flourish in this age of disruption.

Here are the top 8 reasons outlining the importance of innovation to business today;

1. The word is full of problems that are hard to solve and aren’t going away

Albert Einstein famously said that “we cannot solve the problem with the same thinking we used when we created them”.

So simple conventional linear planning & problem solving processes using the same thinking that created some of these undesirable problems in the first place aren’t not going to result in the visionary, creative ideas & innovative solutions required to solve them.

We have to be, think & do things differently!

The first thing about understanding innovation is that it is, in essence about creating changes that add value. It involves seeing, sensing & perceiving (discovery process) opportunities & solving (design process) problems in creative ways that add value (delivery process) to the quality of people’s lives!

It requires developing a sense of possibility, necessity & wonder, wrapped up in a clear passionate purpose for solving customer, business & wicked problems so as to deliver a triple bottom line (people, profit, planet) in ways that meaningfully improve the way we live.

2.  Adapting to VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex & ambiguous) times

We are living in business & personal worlds that are fast becoming increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex & ambiguous, complete with a broad range of random & unpredictable events, that we can no longer anticipate or control.

These are being fueled by technology, social & demographic changes as well as a vast range of business, lifestyle & consumer choices. Whilst at the same time, businesses are still expected to grow, increase their shareholder value, become globally competitive & improve efficiencies & productivity.

Black Swans are random and unpredictable events that cannot be anticipated and require us to find new ways of responding and adapting to them, and their impact, when they happen.

The next thing about understanding innovation is that it requires agility to drive it – which is the ability to be quick & graceful, both mentally & physically, which gives people & organizations the ability to make intentional shifts in changing contexts, with speed & grace. It requires an ability to be present to, see & respond to complex adaptive systems, & to the unexpected & the unplanned (complexity & chaos).

A skill-set that shifts a way of being, thinking & doing to provocate & disrupt the status quo, emerge possibilities & opportunities, generate discovery, make intelligent decisions & take intelligent actions to see & solve problems generatively.

To work with thick (soft cultural) & hard (big) data, to get out of the office, to see & sense the patterns & trends that are emerging & to make vital connections. Build capacity, confidence & competence in adapting & being, thinking & doings things differently.  Knowing how to think analytically, laterally, critically & creatively to see & solve problems & respond to Black Swan Events & external crises in different ways – to transform them into creative ideas & innovative solutions that people value & cherish.

3. Taking advantage of the global entrepreneurship movement

Entrepreneurship is becoming a global movement and entrepreneurship is growing especially in emerging markets, where China and India are leading the pack and Africa is predicted to be the next hot spot. There are three particularly “Hot” sectors that include people who really want to ‘both’ take self responsibility for their futures, by contributing towards making the world a better and more sustainable place ‘and’ make a difference via the social, women and youth sectors.

This movement is being powered by governments realizing that entrepreneurship is a vehicle of economic success and prosperity, by organizations realizing that they can harness the collective genius of their people through building an entrepreneurship capability and finally by the rise of new impact investors. Innovation is an enabler of entrepreneurship as well as a way of empowering and enabling people to take control of their lives and manifest their own destiny and economic prosperity.

The next thing about understanding innovation is that it is an enabler & driver of entrepreneurship, with many entrepreneurs looking to solve wicked, civic & business problems that are too volatile & complex for governments to address, or for big business to move quickly enough to invent solutions.

It is a way of empowering & enabling people to take control of their lives, build eco-systems & socially responsible collectives, manifest their own destiny & deliver economic prosperity & sustainability.  

4. Competing via blue ocean possibilities with lean & agile start-up methodologies

In their book Blue Ocean Strategy research proves that there are no permanently excellent companies, and that organizations, like people, all do smart and less smart things. They suggest that what matters is making smart strategic moves and that the strategic move that matters centrally is to create ‘blue oceans’ of disruptive, new and uncontested markets.

The emerging business paradigm is shifting towards discovering blue oceans that incorporate lean and agile start-up methodologies as a way of innovating businesses to create increased value for customers that they value and cherish.

The next thing about understanding innovation is that the emerging business paradigm is shifting towards discovering blue oceans that incorporate lean & agile start-up methodologies as a way of innovating businesses to create increased value for customers that they value & cherish.

Where people embody a sense of possibility, necessity & wonder to make “leap of faith” decisions, experiment, test, iterate & pivot minimal viable products. Where people learn by doing & failing to validate products & services, embrace continuous learning as a way of life, & pay deep attention to change & have the flexibility & agility to change course.

5. Flowing with advances in technology

The advance of digitization enabled largely by the internet of things has created the connection and sharing of data between digital devices, ranging from household devices and heating systems to automobiles, and even jet engines. This connectivity and the resulting aggregation of data is creating entirely new business models and revenue streams, both for startups and established companies that leverage existing assets in exciting, profitable new ways. It also is changing the basis of competition as companies can now compete as part of ecosystems.

The increasing availability and accessibility to free and low cost online education is encouraging and enabling almost anybody with a desire for learning and a hunger for knowledge to become subject matter experts in their fields.
Innovative entrepreneurs and lean start-ups are proliferating by via the internet of things, always connected mobile devices, cloud computing and via the social media. Especially by the development of software applications aimed at improving the quality of people’s minds and lives everywhere.

The next thing about understanding innovation is the importance of making people matter we move further into the Digital Age. It appears that there is a greater disparity between an organization’s members & the organization perceived as an independent entity. People (talent & customers) now want more of a voice in how they are treated & how they are incorporated into the organization as a whole.

This making both management & leadership less of an “inside out” process, pushing products & services out to customers, & more of an “outside in” process, of pulling people & customer’s needs, wants & desires into the organization. Requiring the development of a new set of capabilities, that embraces deep & dynamic learning, collaboration & co-creation, adaptive change & the development of software applications aimed at improving the quality of people’s lives everywhere.

6. Adapting to changing workplace dynamics & trends

As more baby boomers retire and conventional succession planning processes become obsolete, the ageing demographic globally is the new tidal wave incurring financial demands on already exhausted financial systems.

Millennials are also swapping jobs at increasing rates as they seek more meaningful work, autonomy and equality.

Hiring processes are shifting as more recruiters rely on internet based social processes where ‘reputation’ is fast becoming more important to professionals and companies alike. Freelancing and contracting are becoming a way of life, meaning that more people are working from home, taking responsibility for generating their own income and wealth. They are also operating more from co-working and collaborative work environments. This means they are networking and teaming to share and gain knowledge, skills and experience.

These factors are forcing organizations to explore innovative strategies for enhancing staff engagement, empowerment and enablement as well as with the acquisition and retention of the best talent.

The next thing about understanding innovation is that these factors are forcing organizations to explore creative ideas & innovative strategies for improving staff engagement, productivity, acquisition & retention. 

By focusing on developing a more positive organizational climate & cultivating an innovation culture where people matter & their full potential is harvested, alongside & in harmony with technological changes.

7. Responding to increasing customer expectations, choices & concept of value

There are significant changes required as to how we perceive & sense customer’s needs, wants & expectations as they too, adapt to, are empowered by the increasing speed & proliferation of choices available in our increasingly connected & digitized world.

Their focus is on receiving value that demonstrates that companies understand & empathize with them & support their lifestyle choices

Noting that customers have never had more control over who they are, what they do, and importantly, what, how and where they buy! Increasing consumer expectations and choices are impacting organizations to become increasingly customer centric through innovative change.

By using human centered design to improve the users (our) experience provides increased value and new ways to create and invent products and services as well as to execute plans in ways that people value and cherish.

The next thing about understanding innovation is to develop a customer centric approach & apply human centered design to develop the compassion & empathy required to improve the user’s (our) experience to provide increased value & to execute it in ways that people value & cherish, so that they become loyal advocates for products & services.

8. Maximizing globalization connectivity

The current wave of globalization has been driven by policies that have opened economies domestically and internationally as a result of many governments adopting free-market economic systems, vastly increasing their own productive potential and creating new opportunities for international trade and investment. Whilst reducing barriers to global trade and negotiating new international agreements to promote trade, in goods and services as well as in investments.

This trend allows true connectivity and collaboration to occur. It encourages anyone, anyplace at any time to develop an internet based business that leverages and builds scale via the application of lean methodologies. Coupled with the speed and pace of technological change, increasing availability of private funding and easing of government infrastructures and compliance factors make it easier for people to initiate low cost, internet based global businesses.

The next thing about understanding innovation is for leaders & their organizations to develop & integrate the confidence, capacity & competence for new ways of seeing & acting in the world.  

By developing the foresight, that allows them to anticipate & risk mitigate against emerging & likely future trends, as well as to focus on developing change, digital execution, & risk mastery that results in the ability to respond creatively to macro & micro changes with speed, agility, curiosity, courage & compassion, in ways that add value to the quality of people lives that they appreciate & cherish.

The importance of innovation 

Being passionate and having a sense of urgent necessity making innovation a visionary and strategic and a systemic lever to effect business breakthroughs, changes, competitiveness, growth and value enables organizations to prosper and flourish in the age of disruption.

These organizations will use innovation as the disruptive change mechanism to outperform their competitors, and create new markets by creating improved customers’ experiences.

By creating products and services that people value and cherish, by effectively using technology, by spanning generational and maximizing demographic diversity and by creating collaborative, creative & courageous work environments.

This is the new age of innovative entrepreneurs who envision and co-create new, audacious & abundant blue oceans who know how to be different, think and act differently to make the difference they want to make in the world in ways that people value and cherish.

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At ImagineNation™ we provide innovation coaching, education and culture consulting to help businesses achieve their innovation goals. Because we have done most of the learning and actioning of new hybrid mindsets, behaviours and skill-sets already, we can help your businesses also do this by opening people up to their innovation potential.

Contact us now at janet@imaginenation.com.au to find out how we can partner with you to learn, adapt and grow your business in the digital age.