Business Innovation Quasi Purported Experts

It amazes me how many folks are business innovation coaches, consultants, and supposed gurus, many of them have never in their life innovated anything. It’s like where on earth did all these people come from all of a sudden? I’d estimate the number at well over 250,000 people, in the US alone, promoting themselves in this venue. Not long ago, I was contacted by a business innovation coach, offering their services to my company, and also to our think tank which operates online.

And believe me I am all for innovation, so I asked what their credentials were, and they told me they had written two e-books, many articles, and had consulted many clients such as; a few Fortune 500 companies, and many small and medium-size businesses. In fact, they often gave speeches on the topic of innovation, and were working on some CD-ROM videos which they would be selling soon. That’s all well and good, but I was looking for real success stories, and case studies which they were deeply involved with.

In fact, the individual could not produce an example of a patent which came from his innovation skills, or prove that any of the companies he consulted with, actually increased revenues, or came up with smashing new products in the market, that I might’ve heard about. That’s quite interesting for someone who claims to be an expert in business innovation, but it is very troubling that they are putting themselves out there as an expert, when they’ve never done anything in their lives to put them in that category, or with that elite group of entrepreneurs who know how to innovate in business.

Let’s face it we have far too many business innovation quasi purported experts and coaches out there in this field. And if someone cannot substantiate the reality then they don’t know what they are talking about, why would anyone pay them to help them innovate? It would appear to me that there’s a lot of money being wasted on consulting fees, and there are far too many people claiming to be something they are not.

Business innovation comes about by listening to customers, finding new ways to serve them, and solving their problems in the market place. Once you do that you will have more customers, more revenue, better referrals, and it will spread like wildfire word-of-mouth. How can we solve the problems of too many fakers out there? Is my contention that as the economy picks up many of these people will go back to their normal jobs, which is good, because they have no business being an innovation coach. Please consider all this. And be careful out there.

Business Innovation Road Blocks That Stall Business

Many companies fail to identify and develop innovations that could significantly improve the bottom line. I have identified many “road blocks” to innovation – here are several of the most common issues that hold back business innovation.

  1. Lack of Knowledge – Many business leaders lack an understanding of how innovation can improve their business. These individuals often believe that innovation is too expensive or is not appropriate for their company. In truth, innovation can have a positive impact on any business – regardless of size, industry or location. Learning how to implement a system for identifying innovations is a first step to eliminating this road block.
  2. Fear of Change – I also call this the “We have always done it this way” syndrome. This is a common road block in many companies. Employees (including managers and company executives) are afraid to change “the system”. This is especially true when dealing with internal procedures, even though innovative thinking can reduce operating expenses and streamline those procedures. This road block can be overcome by understanding a simple approach to evaluating internal procedures, and seeing examples of simple changes to business procedures that made a dramatic impact on the company.
  3. “What do I know about this?” Syndrome – This obstacle also comes from a lack of understanding of the innovation process. People mistakenly believe that they must be experts in a particular area or have some special training to identify innovations. But, there are countless examples of individuals who come up with great innovations outside their “area of expertise”. Children can identify creative ideas when given the proper environment to develop and express those ideas. Often, individuals who are in different departments of a company come up with great ideas, partly because they approach solutions to problems in a “fresh” way – without being limited by the knowledge of how that department operates. I’ve been in many brainstorming meetings where someone from a different department makes a casual remark “Why don’t you just…”. To them, it seemed trivial, but the people working in the department had never considered that option because it was quite different from their current systems or procedures. Encouraging people to share ideas outside their current job function can produce valuable innovations for any business.

Make an effort to learn about innovation and implement a strategy to identify innovations throughout your business. Once you overcome the road blocks discussed above, your business can begin to harness the power of innovation.

The Importance of Business

Innovation and creativity both play a very important role in the success of a business. Through the use of innovative ideas, business processes can be improved, efficiency can be increased, new products can be developed, and profitability can skyrocket. Companies need to continually encourage an environment of innovation, even if it means investing in it during difficult economic times. By doing so, they will be assured of being in a competitive position when the economy improves. The business world is highly competitive, making innovative ideas more important than ever before.

Advantages of an Innovative Environment

Innovative ideas can be useful to a company in a wide variety of ways. In some cases, productivity may be improved, which can help a company lower costs and become more competitive. Relationships and partnerships with other companies, customers, suppliers and sometimes even indirect competitors can often be improved through innovation. Companies also frequently find new ways to promote and more effectively advance their brand. In some cases, an innovative idea might represent the introduction of an entirely new product or service. However, in many other cases, it might simply mean a series of small changes that over time improve the way a company does business. Either way, companies that seek out and encourage business innovation are in a much better position to compete and prosper.

Lack of Business Innovation

Just as there are distinct advantages for companies who foster an innovative environment, there are also distinct dangers for companies who do not. In many cases, a lack of innovation can cause a company to lose market shares to its competitors. Efficiency and productivity can suffer, often resulting in reduced profit margins. These companies also risk a loss of personnel, ranging from key staff members right down to the basic workforce. In a worst-case scenario, businesses have even been known to go out of business due to a lack of innovation and creativity.

Business Innovation Services

In business, innovation means progress. Innovation is everything! There’s never a time you should ignore it because growth in any industry means progress, and growth means a lot of money being available for expansion and success. There is nothing like tapping into progress before everyone else, and that is what any successful business does. Being a pioneer in an industry requires innovation and it’s something that every successful industry giant you might be inspired by has done. Harnessing innovation isn’t easy though, you can’t just flip a switch and come up with new ideas that can make money; at least not all of us can. The best way to start is to consider enlisting the help of business innovation services.

Human resources have always played a significant part in any company’s success. After all, who is going to be moving ideas around? Who is going to be motivating employee’s to meet not only your goals but their own personal goals? Employing exceptional people who can deliver innovations in HR can help your business stay ahead of the curve. Business isn’t just something to throw money and hope that something sticks, but investing in professional business innovation services is a move that will definitely deliver a return on your investment. Their creative ideas and solutions will save you money, solve any current or future work related problem and make your company stand out. Luckily there are many business innovation services out there that offer counseling. You can meet with seasoned veterans of many different industries and get tips and ambitious ideas that can help you meet new goals. Every business has room to innovate in one way or another but sometimes it can be difficult to see when you’re so close to it. Even if you’re a small enterprise there are ways you can make yourself stand out, but if you aren’t a veteran in the industry and don’t have the right experience, you might not always see how to improve things. It’s also helpful to over mull ideas and seek out solutions when you have someone to bounce ideas off of. These counselors are there specifically for this kind of help and can offer solutions as well as help lead you to your own.

Innovations in HR don’t just mean hiring innovative thinkers either. While hiring seasoned business professionals and counseling them can help, you need to think about progressive organization. Businesses are changing today and many of them no longer have a massive hierarchy and are instead built around a more horizontal chain. For a small business, having this horizontal management style allows you to be the owner of the business while still having your employees on a level playing field. They’ll be more like partners than simply employees, and they’ll be more motivated and enthusiastic about coming up with solutions and efficient changes by themselves because they’ll feel like a part of it all.

  1. During an economic downturn there are many different ways a company can react. They have the option of watching their business shrink and potentially die or they can prove themselves to be business innovators and take advantage of the situation.

Sometimes the smart move is using business innovation strategy during this time to get to the next level. It requires leadership within a company and the ability to see the bigger picture. When a business is booming, companies are less likely to want to make process changes. This is why a downturn may be a real opportunity.

Communication

There are many ways to foster innovation. One way is to take the time to get to know your customers and find out what they really need. You may have provided the same service for several years only to determine that there might be other niches you could fill for them.

Questioning your Purpose

It may be beneficial to question the purpose of your company. I don’t mean asking the obvious questions. Sometimes it can be helpful to rethink some of the fundamentals of your products and your business.

Product Innovations and Organizations

Have you considered adding a new product or service to your company? What if you spoke with your customers and found out what they truly need may be new features or new products you can provide for them.

At some point you may want to spend more time and money on research and development idea creation. This would be an opportunity to provide further innovation of your new product ideas and enhance them.

Sometimes feedback can come from internal departments as well. It is always a good idea to make sure you get feedback from all departments and coordinate them through your research and development department. There are many types of idea tracking software that will allow you to keep track of these potential innovations.

If you have a product or service with a short lifecycle, there may be opportunities to upgrade your products on a more regular basis. This is going to be a factor in how quickly you can get the innovations out to your customers.

Google can be a great example for this. Their marketing strategy allows them to have very quick turnaround times and deliver to customers a regular basis.

Commitment

Once you have come up with these new and brilliant ideas, it is important to give them form as soon as possible. This may mean creating a prototype or testing the service with a long-term customer you trust. This way you will have a better idea as to whether the product or service is likely to succeed.

Finding the Right Talent

When some of your competitors close their doors, it may be a great opportunity to pick up their best talent. This can help you improve your overall business innovation strategy and prepare yourself for the eventual upturn.