Business Growth Specialists
Call us on: 0207 193 4996

Innovation

Why Innovate?

If you’ve ever wondered [what’s] the point of innovation in your business or industry, it’s because “stuff changes”. Perhaps you remember the typewriter, in the days before computers? Maybe you remember analogue phones, or even the days before mobile phones. Perhaps you remember not having power steering on your car. These are all examples of innovations to products, but services evolve and become innovative too. On-line banking, your shopping delivered to your door, these are examples of how services have evolved.

Sometimes it’s advances in technology that causes innovation to happen, although see my blog on PESTLE for a fuller description of the external factors which lead to innovation. Often changes to external factors prompt innovation, however there are approaches called Appreciative Inquiry which focus on what your business already does well, and seeks to refine and innovate around that.

Who Innovates?

Innovation is too important to be left to chance.  It can be something that the whole team can get involved it.  The skill of a leader is to be able to separate creative ideas from the evaluation stage.  It is too easy for leaders to evaluate too quickly and crush creativity.  In separate blogs, I’ve described 8 common innovation mistakes, and also given suggestions for how to innovate, using the innovation grid.

 

Here are 2 more tips for encouraging innovation:

plate with lightbulb

  1. Firstly, it can be useful to know that people think in different ways, and to be able to encourage different thinking within your team. Perhaps your preference is a focus on “task” and getting the job done. Knowing who within your team has more of a “people” preference and a reminder to yourself to be mindful of listening to their “people” ideas could be a rich source of new ideas. DISC is a useful tool for understanding the different ways that people in your team think, and ensuring you get the best out of them.
  2. Secondly, letting people know that there is a time and place for ideas, evaluation and critique can be useful. A couple of approaches you might consider are 6 Thinking Hats or (3 step) Disney.

Of course how to structure an innovation session, ensuring the team are bought in and contributing ideas can be quite a lot to think about, which is one reason here at Johnson Fellowes we facilitate innovation sessions. We’re passionate about business growth. Your businesses growth.

Oh, and by the way, did you know there’s co-investment funding available to support innovation in business. Give us a call if you would like to know more about our innovation sessions or whether your business is eligible for government co-investment, please contact Angus on 07973 288 043

Training for innovation

The leadership styles and approaches for developing new ideas (innovation) are different from the approach needed to turn that idea into a successful product or service offering.  We run workshops to teach the approaches and innovation frameworks, and show you how to  elegantly switch between the two thinking modes.  We can even facilitate innovation in your business.