Innovate With What You’ve Got

Many companies hear the word innovation and get nervous. Although innovation suggests change, you don’t have to shake things up completely to see the impact.

What do you do really well?
Instead of trying to chase a fleeting industry trend or blindly add new areas of specialty to your company, take the the time to determine what services you truly excel at. Next, assess the market to identify opportunities that play to your strengths. If you can find a need that one of your core services meets, your innovation journey will be that much easier. A great example of this is Uber. Uber disrupted the taxi industry when it first hit the scene in 2009. UberX is Uber’s most popular service, offering ride share for less money and more convenience than hailing a cab. They used the existing strength of UberX to launch their latest service, UberPOOL. UberPOOL works the same as UberX, except users can join existing rides of other users for even less than UberX. This gives users an opportunity to save money, gives Uber drivers the opportunity to earn more, and takes even more cars off the road.

Although innovation suggests change, you don’t have to shake things up completely to see the impact.

What resources do you already have?
Change in business is often synonymous with cost. Many organizations fear innovation because they don’t have the budget to invest in new technology or resources. Luckily, you do not need deep pockets to start being innovative. Look for excess inventory, services, or processes that can serve a double purpose, and team members who have a few hours to spare. Budgetary constraints may be blessings in disguise that force you to come up with creative solutions.

Who can contribute to your ideas?
In order to grow a great idea, you need to fuel it with more great ideas. Chances are, there are some incredibly talented people on your team who have an idea or two that they would love to contribute.  When pulling together an internal innovation team, be sure to include people from different departments and diverse backgrounds. Diversity will garner different viewpoints that will help uncover opportunities.

By taking these steps, you can save your organization a lot of time and money and still get the innovation ball rolling.  Once you have tapped into your internal resources and are ready to take your idea to the next level, reach out to a strategic partner to help bring those ideas to life.

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