The day we fail to embrace innovation is the day we stop moving forward. In business, the 21st century had been defined by innovation born of creative problem solving.
Companies like Uber, Netflix, Spotify and Airbnb are now part of our daily landscape. They are only there because they dared to try something different. They challenged the norms that existed when it came to taxis, renting movies, listening to movies or booking a place to stay. The way they challenged these norms was through innovation and creative problem solving. They offer a simple solution and use innovation to deliver it.
Innovation is the implementation of creativity. Creativity comes first and innovation follows. It’s so important for businesses because those who are creative and innovative always have higher levels of employee engagement and are more productive.
By encouraging employees to think outside the box and devise ways of improving the business, be it the product itself or the way the business operates, it helps develop new solutions while at the same time making employees feel they are integral to them.
For the first time this year at Quinyx we ran Quinnovation - a company-wide initiative where employees formed groups to work on innovations. The aim was to give our staff the opportunity to do something completely different to the day-to-day routine, work in different teams and create a positive buzz and energy through the office.
The challenge was to embrace innovative thinking, be creative and create added value for our staff and for Quinyx. The results were fantastic. From building an ‘IOU’ system into our app to being able to schedule lunch dates with colleagues, not only did innovation come to the fore but we were left with ideas which could in turn be rolled out to our customers.
As a starting point for adopting this mindset in your business (if you don’t already!) then try the following:
Just like we did at Quinyx, give power to your employees and task them with coming up with ways you can do things differently. Tell them the only limit on their scope is the limit of their imagination. Give them free reign and see what they can come up with.
Look for change
For managers and business owners, change can be a daunting and scary thing. Failing to change and adapt is dangerous for every business. Arguably, it should have been a taxi driver who set up Uber or a hotelier who set up Airbnb but it wasn’t because they were too comfortable in their current position to see how a change could be made.
Do something different
Look at what your competition is doing and figure out the best way you can find an edge by doing something different. Identify what sets you apart and what you can do differently to others then make it happen.
Innovation is a habit and is part of a working culture. Practice it, learn to love it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.