There’s rarely just ‘one thing’ responsible for making a company become more innovative. It is a combination of key ingredients that deliver innovative thinking and behaviour.
I recently spoke about four key ingredients Planet Innovation has used since its formation to drive innovation as it commercialises technology. You can watch my speech here, which includes some amusing but relevant movie references, as well as several real life case studies. See if your company has these four ingredients in its mix.
Learn to celebrate
What you celebrate plays a big part in defining your company’s culture. It’s a powerful way for your leaders to promote what behaviour is encouraged and valued within your business. Some companies celebrate social aspects, such as birthdays, engagements, etc. Others celebrate loyalty, rewarding longevity in the company.
At Planet Innovation we celebrate innovative ‘stuff people do’ – both within and outside of our company. We encourage our people to explore their passions; so we support events and clubs that give people an outlet for their creativity. We also give employees the opportunity to showcase their innovative projects outside of work activities, and celebrate their accomplishments.
Think about what you celebrate in your company, and what message it sends. What could you celebrate more? Check out our Facebook page for some photos of our most recent celebrations.
Reframe your problems
Often when people reflect on problems, the first thing to spring to mind is a solution. We tend to rush into trying to solve a problem, without really understanding what that problem is.
At PI, we tackle this by separating the problem and the solution into two clear paths; using our B.R.I.G.H.T. innovation process. This process forces us to back up and clearly think about the problem we’re trying to solve first. We look at different aspects of the problem – what is the real problem; why is it a problem; why do we need to solve it; how else could we frame this problem? By thinking about the problem space, you open up the opportunity space.
If you want to learn more about our innovation B.R.I.G.H.T. process, just drop us an email.
Co-develop with your market place
We are always thinking about the balance between technical and commercial development. Are these progressing at the same rate? Can you say that you know as much about your market, as you do about your product? These two key aspects of your growth should always be at a similar stage.
From our experience, most start-ups spend a lot of time developing their product, building prototypes and fine-tuning usability, before they have even spoken to their customer. Speaking with your customers while developing your product can ensure that you are developing the right product and have a commercial strategy that is in line with your technical strategy. We encourage our clients to build as they go. We advise them to launch an MVP, analyse its progress, then launch a little more functionality, developing an iterative process.
Get it out there, explore, and then grow with your market.
Don’t only look at what something was designed to do, but what it ‘can’ do. Can your product have other uses? Can your technology be implemented in other ways?
Some companies we’ve worked with have significantly increased their profit and market value just by opening their mind to new opportunities. It is often not the first application you had in mind for your technology or product that makes you money. Be passionate, but don’t fall in love with an idea and no longer be prepared to change direction when opportunities arise. Always keep your eyes open for other paths to success.