Tuesday, 19 January 2016

How to build an innovative company


It is easier for a startup to adopt to new innovation than a big company because of its size. Building an innovative company could be frustrating for big businesses mainly because of the inability to manage performance by adopting new process.

 To be innovative, an individual must work on the idea. It is about changing a long standing process by improving on it(Carl Stanford).

The first step in building an innovative company is to create an innovative culture- a language.
Human resources is the sole agent of innovation. Therefore, it would be beneficial  to create a work environment where mistakes can be absorbed, excellence rewarded and new ideas celebrated.
Many companies are scared of adopting new process because they are not provisioned to or because they don't speak the 'innovation language' do you expect a child to speak English while the child has never heard, read or been taught English? Yes! Your employees are not innovative because their are not be taught the 'innovation language'.

The real driver of innovation is the business founder- yes! The founder is the custodian of change. Do you expect to build a company that is market driven and employ someone that is tech driven to take on the innovation unit? It wouldn't work because the company owner will be scared of implementing new business idea.

However, if the business founder speaks the 'innovation language', he will drive the change.
Building an innovative company requires an innovation strategy. A strategy is nothing than a commitment to a coherent, mutually reinforcing policies or procedures aimed at achieving a competitive goal(Harvard Business Review).

Business regularly declare their scope and positioning(strategy)- aligned with their business functions of marketing, financial, human resource research and development, however few, companies aligned business strategy with their innovation drive.

Hundreds of companies that were once tagged as an innovative company has permanently resigned- trying to maintain market share without exploring new fronts. They completely lost the innovation drive.
What I observed is that most of these companies from the beginning didn't build an innovative culture nor has a clear innovation strategy- they were just competing in the market.

It is now Crystal clear why they gave up; they discovered that their competitor(s) has won. Thereby, trying to maintain their current market share.
There are basically two type of innovation

Disruption renders a whole product line or business model obsolete-the fear of most companies in the tech world. This favors lots of startup.

However, companies like Google and Apple had proved that big companies can be disruptive. Irrespective of the size of a business, innovative business culture breads Disruptive innovation.

Consistent Improvement
Innovation could be in form of an improvement to existing products or business process. Reverse engineering or prototyping- followed by specific improvement to the prototype.
It requires vision, strategies and drive to build an innovative company. A new born baby can't walk nor speak same day. It is a process.

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