How To Be Innovative In Your Business

 Is your team not coming up with bright new ideas? Is innovation a long forgotten task in your list? Then have a look at the following ways to become more innovative in your industry. You might just end up with a very exciting new idea.

  • Allow loads of ideas and then shortlist them
The key to a successful idea starts by having loads of ideas in the first place. A team or an individual should thus brainstorm initially and allow and list all sorts of ideas that come to mind even if they don’t make sense. You never know you might be crossing out an idea that can bring you millions in the future. The next step is to narrow down the ideas in accordance with the requirements of the consumer. Finally market research needs to be done in order to assess the feasibility of the idea.

  • Act as a devil’s advocate during screening phase
It’s sometimes a good idea to ask one of the team members to wear a black hat and oppose ideas that are put forth by other team members. This allows everyone to step back and view the ideas critically. Hence there are more constructive task conflicts between team members which result in more consolidated ideas. This technique should mainly be employed after the initial brainstorming session and during the idea screening phase. 

  • Allow people to make mistakes and equip them with adequate resources
Pixar is a great example of a company that is innovative and captures the imagination of its target market. The key to their success is that new employees are given all required resources and are allowed to make mistakes. They are encouraged to seek the advice of senior management but it’s not compulsory for them to follow their advice. This allows for a greater degree of creative freedom in terms of thinking and assessment

  • Bring fresh perspective from outside
Group thinking (team members thinking in a similar manner) usually occurs when all team members have been working with each other for a long time and share similar opinions on matters. It is thus a good idea at times to bring people from outside to assess the situation and to come with bright new ideas. Consider Grameen bank for instance. The bank was started by Dr. Muhammad Younas who came with a non-financial background and looked at the banking system from a whole new perspective. A normal banker would have perhaps never taken the bold step of revolutionizing the banking system the way he did through the introduction of micro-financing in Bangladesh.

  • Consider user scenarios and test cases for tasks
It is ultimately the user to whom you are selling the value of the idea. Therefore always keep the user’s priorities in mind and the customer experience. Some companies come up with amazing new ideas but fail to prioritize the customer needs and end up making great products which don’t fill a good demand.

  • Keep a watch for trends, new competitive technologies and businesses
User needs keep on changing. So do technologies and demands and supplies of businesses. Being innovative also involves keeping a watch on all of these while consolidating your ideas accordingly.

These steps are not complete but if implemented can help your business become more innovative. 

Image by Raneko
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