What Is Innovation?
First, we need to decide on a definition. Innovation isn’t solely represented by new devices, ideas or methods, but also by the process of uncovering new ways to do things. It can also pertain to modifying business models and adapting to changes to achieve better products and services.
Innovation is defined as the introduction of something new or different. The act of innovating leads to the introduction of new ideas, devices or methods.
In short, creativity + work = innovation. With that being said, being innovative means you harness your creative ability.
How To Utilize Innovation
In the business world, for an innovative idea to be useful, it has to be replicable without being too expensive and it has to resolve a particular need. Innovation is achieved by providing something original and is often seen to produce efficiency, leading to an idea that significantly affects the general society.
A few examples of innovative projects:
- 2017, Hampshire: highway maintenance crews had to visit production plants before starting road repairs in order to collect fresh, hot asphalt materials. This not only used up valuable time, but also led to wasted material because of particular temperature requirements.
Solution: they developed a mobile unit that mixes the key road-surface ingredients on-site, resulting in more efficiency. This method costs about the same, but saves the company and crews time, and the repairs are completed sooner for residents.
Being innovative doesn’t mean that your company becomes the next Google or Microsoft with massive public relations behind it. In other words, just because something makes front-page news doesn’t mean it has more impact. Some companies, products and ideas revolutionize certain aspects of our lives more quietly.
- Sense-T is an intelligent farming initiative that utilizes sensor data to optimize farming operations. Haven't heard of them? Neither had I. But they have a massive impact in the world of sensors and the internet of things.
- WeWork is another innovative concept, providing entrepreneurs a place to work when their home, the public library or Starbucks won’t do any longer. The company has 174 office locations in 46 cities around the world.
- And Feed Supper turns a casual dinner party into a philanthropic event to raise money to buy millions of meals per month to underprivileged children around the world.
Why Innovation Is Important
Innovation is vital in the workplace because it gives companies an edge in penetrating markets faster and provides a better connection to developing markets, which can lead to bigger opportunities, especially in rich countries.
Innovation can also help develop original concepts while giving the innovator a proactive, confident attitude to take risks and get things done.
When a company has an innovative culture, it'll grow easily, despite the fact that the creative process isn't always simple. Tried-and-tested methods may be reliable, but trying out new things is a worthwhile experiment.
Innovations that are now part of our daily lives (unconsciously)
Aside from products, innovation can also pertain to new services, business models, processes and functions.
Companies such as Google and Starbucks have implemented revolutionary innovations in small ways that contribute to the big picture.
- Think about the cup sizes at Starbucks: no small, medium and large cups. They have their own language such as grande and venti.
- If you use Google, you may start with search but end up using Google Docs or Google Hangouts.
Being innovative should always be a part of your approach. With creative thinking, problems can be solved differently and strategically. The right innovative techniques can help you save precious time and money, and give you a competitive lead in expanding your business.
Stick to your innovative mindset whenever you think about your business. Creative thinking allows you to come up with different solutions and to discover new strategies.
The right innovative techniques can help you save precious time and money, and give you a competitive lead in expanding your business. This might be self-explanatory: tremendous efficiencies are experienced because of the development and use of new strategies. Just think of how widely diversed ideas can come from different minds. It makes sense to discuss all ideas and unify them if needed - this is how revolutionary concepts are born. If this is not motivating enough, we don't know what is!
Source: Theodore Henderson, Forbes