Many are aware of the benefits of innovation but struggle with maintaining an innovative culture that consistently generates innovations that keeps your pipeline humming and your bottom line moving in the right direction. So what’s the wind the sales of those companies that seem to always be producing innovations? What is the blind spot that some leader just can’t seem to uncover to dependably produce innovations that have commercial success?
Underlying an innovative culture driven by an innovative leader or leaders is innovativeness. Innovativeness is described in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the skill and imagination to create new things”, which speaks to the duality of the attribute but just scrapes the surface of the importance of innovativeness to business growth and sustainability.
The first part; skill assumes that there is an amount of expertise involved in the development of innovations. This assertion is relative to the environment or subject matter involved in the innovation development process. For example, to develop innovations in financial management, one should have a deep understanding of the financial management strategies and tactics. Conversely, think about trying to implement an internal innovation for example, around a communications process and the responsible personnel has no expertise in the details of executing a communications plan. Even the most inexperienced leader would suspect this to be a disaster while instead of creating innovation, they create a source of confusion. So it goes without saying that an innovator should have some skill, expertise, and ability in the discipline that they are looking to produce innovations.
HERE ARE SOME PREVIOUS POSTS THAT DESCRIBE THE ADDITIONAL SKILLS NECESSARY IN CREATING INNOVATIVE COMPANIES:
The second part of that definition talks about the imagination, which is where the separation begins between companies that time after time generate innovations with commercial success and those that don’t. But what is the imagination that assists in the development innovation?
That’s a difficult concept to describe much less put into action. To make this concept a bit more manageable, lets take the concept of mindfulness, which Psychology Today describes as a state of active, open attention to the present and apply it to the matter at hand.
Innovativeness is a state of mind that is attributable to the recognition and active pursuit of opportunities for innovation.
It’s innovativeness that allows for leaders to leverage the influence of associations, create space for innovation, and apply innovativeness regularly. Innovativeness is the 6th sense that prompts subject matter experts to ask “why” or question whether tasks can be done more efficiently even when they are producing a great customer experience. But how can this understanding translate to improved sales and business growth.
Having an active awareness of opportunities for innovation can permeate every aspect of a business. From the product or service being sold to the operational functions that support whatever is being sold. Thus innovativeness applied to business development may produce ideas that broaden the pipeline or applied to a service sold to consumers may produce opportunities for co-creation. By eliminating the barriers of innovation and actively seeking to apply innovativeness to business development and sales, we can favorably impact business growth and avoid the symptoms of stagnation that so prevalently divert most businesses from reaching their potential.
5 areas you can super charge with Innovativeness
Innovativeness involves skill and proficiency as well as an awareness of instances and causes for its application. While this list isn’t exhaustive, here are some areas to apply innovativeness that will have a big impact on business growth.
1. Relationships –
developed by intentional behavior and the identification of mutual interests fosters trust that produces sales opportunities;
that encourage advocacy and loyalty that go beyond current needs generates top of mind circumstances;
based on reciprocity in commitment and candor establishes foundations of honesty and integrity instead of just profits and manipulation
2. Managing Competition –
Involves having a clear understanding of the differentiators between themselves and other players in the market as the starting point;
Means doing things different from competition and doing what competition does but better to be the logical best choice
3. Customer Experience –
Is adjusted as customer needs change to create a customer-centric brand;
Comprehensively aligns with the changing needs of the industry to establish a relational nature with prospects
4. Communication –
Is vital in redirecting uncertainties toward the value being provided to customers as a result of new initiatives;
Is a sense of openness to and understanding concerning the benefits of allowing people to function outside of their comfort zone; where the best ideas and highest performers live
is critical to the implementation of new offerings to the market
STRATASCENSION was founded on the notion that business is relational and growth is achieved through deepening of all the micro connections between people, process, tools, & performance. We want to help small businesses enhance these connections and leverage them for transformation.