Innovation – The Lifeblood Of Business Success
I once saw a t-shirt that said, “Innovation Or Extinction”. Though cost cutting and efficiency contribute towards the success and growth of any business, it is innovation that is the key factor that drives sustainability and profitability. Only those businesses that continuously offer innovative products, services or processes can enjoy long-term success.
In order to stay ahead of the competition businesses need be innovative at the front-end, which is concept development as well as the back-end, which involves implementation of those concepts. However, this can prove to be problematic for many managers mainly because it is at odds with the analytical and rational processes they have studied in business school. Innovation is about making non-linear jumps and learning to take the available information and transforming this raw material into workable concepts. That is the secret of why, given the same set of circumstances, many businesses succeed while others fail.
New ideas drive innovation, which if implemented, drives business growth. Globalization has given rise to increasing competition and businesses that do not innovate, can rapidly get left behind in the race to the top. Without new ideas and new products, consumers could soon get tired of the product or service you are offering and could get tempted to move on to your competition. With no other incentive to be loyal to your product, the consumer will either look for a new product-offering or for a better price. With nothing else to offer, you will be forced to lower your price, decreasing your profit margins. If this strategy still does not manage to lure customers, you will be under pressure to reduce the price further, creating a negative cycle that could be hugely detrimental to your business. The only way to break out of this cycle is to stay continuously innovative and add value to your product.
Businesses that are constantly innovative attract the most talented employees who feel encouraged to show some initiative in voicing new ideas and implementing new processes. If employees are not given the opportunity to create or test their ideas, they will move on to the competition, taking their ideas with them.