Why Innovation Matters to Business Success
Innovation… some would say it’s the key to business growth.
After all, one of the biggest elements of business success is widely acknowledged to be the ability to see a “gap” in the marketplace for which there is a demand and then fill it better, cheaper, or faster than the competition.
Truly, that concept is at the heart of innovation.
Let’s look at the official definition for innovation according to Merriam-Webster dictionary:
1: the introduction of something new
2: a new idea, method, or device
Even when examining that very basic definition for “innovation” it seems pretty clear that being innovative is likely paramount to business growth and success. [H2]
Yet, while most of us can likely readily accept the importance of innovation to and within our organization, do we really strive to meet that directive? Especially over time and once our business is up-and-running, maturing, or matured?
Going back to our basic definition of innovation… in actuality, that is probably way too simplistic. Is it really enough to just introduce new things, ideas, or practices? Even new methods or devices? The likely answer to that question as it relates to managing and directing our business is, “No.”
Then, what? What is the real answer to the call or demand for innovation? [H2]
How do we innovate in such a way that our business or organization reaps the rewards? How do we innovate in such a way that what we introduce has merit or meaning for — and a positive effect on — our strategic goals?
First, we need to know how to determine where and when to innovate. [H3]
Those answers can often be derived from asking TWO basic questions: [H4]
- What “problem” does my audience (market) have? What do they want or need (even if they don’t know it yet) to solve that problem?
- How can I solve that problem or meet that want/need either for the first time in a new way OR better than the competition?
What problem does my audience (market) have? What do they want or need—even if they don’t know it yet—to solve that problem? [H5]
Meaningful innovation almost always originates with the recognition of a problem experienced by a certain subset of the population (a “niche” or “market”). If you aren’t solving a problem (or filling a “gap”) and are just attempting to innovate for the sake of saying you’re being “innovative”—you will likely NOT reap the real benefits of innovation.
How can I solve that problem or meet the want/need of my niche/market either for the first time OR in a way that is faster/better/cheaper than the competition? [H5]
Of course, it’s even better if you don’t yet HAVE competition. If that’s the case — and you are the first to offer the solution to that problem/want/need/gap — you are almost certainly being “innovative.
Even if not, however, if you can provide a product or service that meets the demand in a new way that either produces a quicker result, or one that costs less, you are on the bleeding edge of innovation.
Thus, actively and consistently seeking opportunities to innovate and/or to introduce innovation to your market could be the “golden ticket” to the success and longevity of your business. [H3]
The good news is that if you know what to do and how to do it, embracing the idea and concepts behind innovation, it becomes easy—and REPEATABLE. In future articles, we will give more ideas and strategies for both introducing and sustaining innovation in your company or organization.
Today, consider committing to this one, single, challenge…
What is one process, product, or service you are currently offering that you KNOW could be done better or faster? How could you make that happen in your business? In other words, where can you INNOVATE, right now?