When the "other shoe drops" next to all of our business recovery and growth strategies, in what shape will your company be? Nobody can tell or predict right now, and we all know that. So how do our companies respond to the current business market? And how do we prepare our companies for what is to come?
We innovate. We improve. We use this time to evaluate what is missing and what is wrong with what we are offering our customers. Then we look at how we can bring innovation into the company to not only improve where we are today, but to future-proof the company for tomorrow. Companies need to transform and evolve to remain relevant in the future. Adopting innovation and transitioning away from outdated technology and thinking can add fuel to sputtering companies.
Becoming An Innovation-Based Company of The Future
How many times have you seen other companies, maybe your competitors, innovate their business and offer innovative new products or services to customers or markets? At that moment that you see the innovation, what do you do? Do you take note of the innovation and go about your day, or do you go back to your office and gather your troops to plan your own innovation? There's a big difference between the two responses. Doing something by taking action can give you the fuel to become an innovation-based company of the future. The other response could spell disaster.
These are five ideas that we use with our clients when we plan innovation and transformation strategies.
- Open the door for collaboration - an innovation-based company welcomes input and collaboration from across the company. Traditional "silos" between departments should be replaced by open discussions and team sharing sessions. Hearing what is working and what's not working from the front lines can fuel innovation ideas that teams can get behind and put in place faster. This includes external companies and partners, too. Your team members can help you bring positive change into your company. If they can't, find ones that can. Leaders do not have all the answers. The team may believe that the CEO will solve everything, but when a company is struggling, it should become a company-wide opportunity for everybody to contribute. And the transparency will be appreciated by those who care.
- Make the mission all about customer value - companies of the future are customer-focused and customer-driven. Our digital economy is a service-led economy and every customer wants the "Amazon" experience when they engage with your company. Think about your own online experiences and what you enjoy and don't enjoy. Our economy is focused on building more value for customers. As you look at how to build value and innovation into your customer experiences, invite your customers to collaborate with you. What is missing from your customer experience where you can introduce innovation and make it better? Do customers need more access to their account and data? Do they need to make actual purchases or check inventory or check the progress of a project? How can you improve the customer experience at your company?
- Reach out for innovation partners - MIT reports that as much as 81% of most companies fall short of digitally innovating their company when compared to market leaders. And looking outside of your company for digital partners like The Idea People can boost your scale of innovation quickly across multiple areas of need. Not only can you bring innovation to outdated processes and repetitive workflows, but the knowledge that you can gain from how customers will benefit with the increased value from the innovation is the real return. If you are performing innovation upgrades with your own team, the internal incremental innovation may not be the speed in which the market or customers demand improvements. This is where your external innovation partner can join your team and add the expertise that may be missing.
- Build the customer experience for personal devices - enabling customers to use secure dashboards via their personal devices will build loyalty for companies of the future. Imagine the convenience and on-demand factor you will give your customers if they have access to their orders, history, data, reports, accounting profiles and all details of doing business with you...all while they are enjoying a glass of wine or sitting in a Zoom meeting. Bridge the tools of innovation with your customers to control their data from your ERP and CRM. Ask the question, "How can we innovate the data delivery experience to how our customers want to use it?" Is there a possibility for your company to leverage innovation and build a platform for your products or services? Could a Platform As A Service better serve your customers?
- Reimagine your leadership skills - company leaders of the future will reevaluate their skillsets in problem solving, crisis response, technology innovation, team staffing and product/service approach. As innovations are quickly introduced to market conditions or environmental impacts, leaders of innovation-based companies will develop new thinking skills that will help keep the company on-vision, while being flexible and responsive to customer and market changes. Leaders will need access to innovation partners that can help them think differently about how they shape their companies for the future. Begin thinking of "how can I affect change for the good." We see evolving philosophies on how leaders actually "lead" teams rather than manage people will be a keystone of leading innovation-based companies of the future. Once a leader understands the "why" of what they do, they can then grow toward reimagining the way they lead people, make decisions and set visions. We can help here, too!
Although new technology and digital transformation does play a major role in an innovation-based company of the future, a large piece of the innovation is a change in the way leaders think about their vision, their teams and their strategies toward customers and market changes.
The Idea People works with company leaders and companies to help build new visions and strategies and to implement digital improvements for innovation-based companies. Please contact our company president Jay Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-398-4437 to talk about evolving your company toward the future.