While several businesses are grappling with the need to turn the tides in their favor and embrace the latest innovation and technology, nothing has prepared todays’ managers with the reality of having a myriad of unanswered queries from their teams on how to stay afloat and at least save their jobs or ensure that the organizations do not end up obsolete.
Indeed, many managers have had to burn the midnight oil strategizing, working with their think-tanks on how to revolutionize businesses, and even possibly going back to basics. It is for these reasons that thinking beyond the with-ins of the organizations’ normal boxes is expected by progressive-minded managers and business leaders. This is to keep up cultures, values, clienteles, products, and departments while discarding what is extinct to pave way for new and relevant ideas to steer the business ship forward. Managers must employ a total paradigm shift in how corporate goals and specific objectives are attained by creating agility, new or improved products, thus outmaneuvering competition in the markets.
Building an Innovation Engine
It is therefore crucial that the 21st-century business managers embrace an inclusive and diverse attitude so that they have space for positive market disruptions and to keep ahead of the pack. This calls for managers to increase their imagination, creativity, and innovative quotients while embosoming current technologies with the organization’s bottom-line take center stage. Pete Foley defines innovation process as; “a great idea, executed brilliantly, and communicated in a way that is both intuitive and fully celebrates the magic of the initial concept.” Innovative ideas may be astronomical or small, however, breakthrough and disruptive innovation beget noticeable tangible changes where the new categories of goods and services are birthed or the existing ones are changed dramatically through the adoption of new ideas as well as leveraging on new technologies to improve efficiency and most importantly improve profitability.
A Leapfrogging Mindset
Innovation can mean a single breakthrough – e.g. a new product or service. However, it can also be a series of small, incremental changes. Progressive managers must be intuitive and alert to recognize innovative ideas which may be sourced internally i.e. from employees, in-house research & development, or from suppliers, customers, media reports, published markets reports by other organizations – and must apply ingenuity to filter the ideas and develop out their corporate fits for consideration and adoption.
The importance of innovation cannot be overstated and dire consequences await organizations where managers may be suffering from mediocre syndrome and are immune to change. Benefits of innovation include but not limited to; efficiency where costs are lower than productivity, larger market share as innovation is a responsive measure to market demands, improved brand value, healthy business relationships from other creative organizations as well as retention of key employees whose ideas may have been adopted and given due recognition.
Failure to innovate can thrust an organization to bottomless oblivion and if it survives, then it may irreparably suffer from employee turnover due to job insecurity and lethargy, lose its market glitter and customers, suffer inefficiency and operate in losses. An article by Francesca Cassidy published in august 2018, insists that innovation must be part of an organization’s growth strategy if it hopes to thrive in the ever-changing competitive landscape.
Great managers must employ a disruptive mindset of tapping into the pros of innovation and technology while mollifying undesirable effects to spice-up growth.
Francesca quips that value generation and addition is the primary purpose why innovation is crucial and provides for three models of business innovation namely; revenue model innovation which applies when an enterprise wishes to increase profits through adopting a new pricing strategy, business model innovation where organizations evaluate and review their processes, products or services to kick-push profits and the industry model innovation which is arguably the most radical and ambitious model.
While it is arguably true that innovation is a major critical element of business competitiveness and sustainability, business managers must not lose sight of the fact that 21st-century business spaces have a very high propensity for technology. Fortunately, there are a variety of technologies to help corporate managers select for their communication, productivity, and even tracking purposes, from computers to software and accounting systems among others.
Disruptive innovation requires Disrupting Leadership
With the negative aspects of technology notwithstanding, today’s business leaders must use technology to drive innovations, embrace key technologies like Artificial Intelligence, big data, algorithms, and various online platforms – even though that may require downsizing and right-sizing the workforce in order to reduce the wage-bill and lead the organizations to better days in the future.
Business leaders should therefore plan to train their managers and empower them to innovatively develop ingenious creative strategies to rise above the current torrents and turbulences and indeed empower them with snorkels and flippers to explore the new offshore reef and breathe in the new dawn of business adventure.