Companies that learn how to innovate will better survive changes in markets, and economy. They will be able to force their weaker rivals out, and approximate new business strategies, to attract new customers, and retain existing customers.Those that cling to tradition will drown in the waves of change that are constantly hitting the markets. Here are some tips for becoming a company that is able to innovate and succeed in today's marketplace.
1. Company wide ambition for growth and performance. This has to be something everyone in your company wants. You are only as strong as your weakest link, and if you want to grow and succeed as a company, every member needs to want that as well. Give your employees vision, and help them see how your growth and success facilitates their own.
2. Focus on your best markets, who can you serve best? This is key. Instead of trying to be a smorgasbord of offerings, focus on the things you do best, and the people you serve best, then expand from there. You will find that the results are great.
3. Intuition is valued over what has worked in the past (traditions). If you want to be someone who can innovate you can put stock in tradition, as they become traditions for a reason, but you should also understand that just because it worked in the past, does not make it better than intuition and future oriented goals.
4. Customer needs should drive decision-making. It is important to remember that your customer's needs have to be met, otherwise your business will fail, no matter how awesome your marketing. The fact is, if your customer's needs are being met and addressed, then your profits and other considerations will fall in line as well.
5. Risks accepted. Whenever you do something new and different and become and innovator in your marketplace, you are going to have to accept that there are risks. Risks often equal rewards, but only if you are willing to do the work and take the risks can you reap the benefits. Not every venture you try will result in success, and some risks may be too great to justify, but being unwilling to take risks will land you nowhere new or better.
6. Work is serious, yet fun. Take your work seriously. Be serious about providing value, but have fun while you do it. The best companies are those that are serious about what they do, but do it in a way that customers and employees both are happy.
7. Everyone is part of innovation. Include everyone. Ask your customers for their input (using social media channels), and let employees contribute their thoughts as well. Senior management are not the only ones capable of good ideas, so remember that everyone needs to be part of your innovation, and to be open to suggestion.
8. Uphold values in products, services, and actions. Last but not least, remember who you are and what you stand for, and keep your company actions consistent with the message you want to portray.