The most successful companies are generally the most innovative companies, but just as many companies have died from innovating before the market was ready. Simply being innovative isn’t enough – you have to engage in smart innovation. Here are 3 ways to integrate smart innovation into your company.
In the TV show New Amsterdam, Medical Director Max Goodwin is tasked with running the nation’s only free public hospital. One day, he asks all non-essential personnel to turn off their phone for the day. If at the end of the day, they didn’t have numerous voicemails from people looking for them, he wanted to find them a new job. By doing this, he was able to staff an entirely new clinic without having to hire a single person. While this is a fictional story, there is truth in it, most businesses have jobs, tasks, and even entire systems that are redundant. By getting your people to stop doing things they’ve always done simply because “that’s the way they’ve always been done”, you free up critical resources to invest in technological advancements.
Ask “Are We Ready?”
Smart innovation puts you just at the right place on the curve between getting out in front of your competitors while making sure the market is ready for what you have to offer. Apple is a perfect example of smart innovation. More often than not, their competitors get technological advancements to market long before they do, sometimes by several years. Yet, Apple hasn’t had a single failed product since the 2000 release of the Mac G4 cube. While Apple is most certainly one of the world’s most innovative companies, they also march very clearly to the beat of their own drum. Weighing the desire to beat your competition with the facts of smart innovation will go a long way.
Do More With Less
One of the advantages that startups have over more established companies is that they are forced to do more with less because they don’t have anymore. Startups will barter with suppliers, negotiate with creditors, and even ask more of their people because they have to. As many businesses grow, they stop doing things they don’t have to do anymore because they have the resources to discontinue the same level of resourcefulness. Which means that they go from doing more with less to doing less with more. As your business grows, you need to continue to find inventive ways to do more with less. This process will enable you to stay ahead of your competition and continue to improve your overall business’s service and infrastructure.