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How to look at your business through an Innovativeness lens

What is innovativeness?

Innovativeness refers to the ability to come up with new and creative ideas or solutions to problems. It involves the capacity to think outside the box, to challenge traditional ways of doing things, and to be willing to take risks in pursuit of novel and potentially valuable outcomes.

Innovation can take many forms, from developing new products or services to creating more efficient processes or systems. It can also involve finding new ways to approach challenges or opportunities, or adapting existing ideas to new contexts or markets.

Overall, innovativeness is an important trait for individuals, organizations, and societies looking to stay competitive and adapt to changing circumstances. By fostering a culture of innovation, individuals and groups can more effectively navigate the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world.

Why is evaluating your business through an innovativeness lens important?

There has been a growing trend among corporate business leaders to focus more on human-centered approaches in recent years. Traditionally, many businesses have prioritized processes and systems in order to maximize efficiency and productivity. However, there is now a greater recognition that the success of a business depends on the people who work within it, and that taking a more human-centered approach can lead to better outcomes for both employees and the business as a whole.

This shift towards a more human-centered focus is being driven by a number of factors, including changing attitudes towards work-life balance, the rise of remote and flexible working arrangements, and a growing awareness of the importance of employee well-being. Many businesses are now investing in programs and initiatives designed to support employee health, happiness, and engagement, recognizing that this can have a positive impact on productivity, retention, and overall business success.

There are also wider social and cultural shifts taking place, with many consumers and employees placing a greater emphasis on values such as social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Corporate business leaders are increasingly recognizing that they need to take these factors into account in order to build strong, sustainable businesses that are able to thrive in the long term.

Of course, not all businesses have made the shift to a more human-centered approach, and there is still a long way to go before this becomes the norm rather than the exception. However, there are certainly signs that more and more corporate business leaders are recognizing the importance of putting people at the center of their businesses, and that this is a trend that is likely to continue in the years ahead.

What does this mean for the future of work?

If more corporate business leaders recognize the importance of putting people at the center of their businesses, the future of work is likely to be more people-focused, flexible, and driven by purpose. Here are some possible changes we might see:

  • Increased focus on employee well-being: Companies may invest more in programs that promote physical and mental well-being, such as flexible work hours, on-site childcare, and mental health support services. This would help reduce employee stress and increase job satisfaction.

  • Greater emphasis on work-life balance: As companies prioritize the needs of their employees, we may see a shift away from the traditional 9-to-5 workday. Instead, companies may offer more flexible work arrangements, such as remote work, job sharing, or compressed workweeks.

  • More opportunities for skills development: Companies that prioritize people may be more likely to invest in their employees' professional development, providing training and development programs that help them build new skills and advance their careers.

  • Increased use of technology: As more companies recognize the value of a people-centered approach, they may increasingly turn to technology to help streamline and automate repetitive tasks. This would allow employees to focus on more fulfilling and creative work.

  • A stronger focus on purpose: Companies that put people at the center of their businesses are likely to have a strong sense of purpose beyond simply generating profits. This could lead to increased focus on social and environmental responsibility, and a greater emphasis on making a positive impact on society.

Overall, a future of work where people are at the center of businesses would likely be characterized by a more flexible, fulfilling, and purpose-driven approach to work. This would ultimately lead to more innovative companies due to the value placed on the sense of belonging for employees and bringing their entire authentic selves to work.

Importance of evaluating your business through an innovativeness lens is important

Evaluating your business through an innovativeness lens is important to ensure that you stay competitive, improve efficiency, identify new opportunities, and enhance the customer experience. It can help you stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing market conditions, leading to long-term success and growth.

Here is a list of the 5 reasons looking at your business through an innovativeness lens is important:

  1. Staying competitive: In today's fast-paced business environment, companies that fail to innovate risk falling behind their competitors. By evaluating your business through an innovativeness lens, you can identify areas where you can improve or innovate to stay ahead of the curve.

  2. Improving efficiency: Innovations can lead to more efficient processes and systems, which can reduce costs and improve productivity. By evaluating your business through an innovativeness lens, you can identify areas where you can streamline operations or automate tasks to save time and money.

  3. Identifying new opportunities: Innovations can create new business opportunities by identifying new markets, customer needs, or product/service offerings. By evaluating your business through an innovativeness lens, you can identify new areas for growth and expansion.

  4. Enhancing customer experience: Innovations can help improve the customer experience by providing new and better products/services, enhancing the quality of existing products/services, or making it easier for customers to do business with you. By evaluating your business through an innovativeness lens, you can identify ways to better serve your customers and differentiate yourself from competitors.

How to evaluate the Innovativeness of your business?

There are several ways to evaluate the innovativeness quality of a business. Here are some approaches you can consider:

  • Analyze the level of innovation in your products or services: Look at the features, functionalities, and benefits of your offerings. Are they unique and original, or do they simply imitate what your competitors offer? To assess this, you may want to conduct a competitive analysis to identify how your products or services compare to others in the market.

  • Review the business's R&D and innovation strategy: Evaluate the company's investments in research and development, and how they align with the overall business strategy. Consider how the business generates new ideas and how they bring them to market. You can also analyze the company's portfolio of patents and trademarks to identify how innovative they are.

  • Monitor the company's adoption of new technologies: A company that embraces new technologies and incorporates them into its operations is likely to be innovative. Look at how the business uses technology to create efficiencies and enhance customer experiences. Evaluate the extent to which they incorporate new technologies, such as AI, blockchain, and IoT.

  • Consider the company culture: A culture that encourages experimentation and risk-taking is often a hallmark of an innovative business. Assess how the company approaches creativity, collaboration, and idea generation. Consider if the company has a dedicated innovation department or if it integrates innovation into every department and process.

  • Review customer feedback and satisfaction: Innovation is ultimately about creating value for customers. Analyze customer feedback, reviews, and satisfaction levels to determine how innovative the business is perceived. Look at how the company engages with customers to identify unmet needs and address them.

By considering these factors, you can evaluate the innovativeness quality of a business and identify areas where the business can improve its innovation capabilities.

What is the likely future of a business lacking innovativeness?

Just as innovation can be defined as a continuum along a range of outcomes, (such as disruptive and continuous), innovativeness (or the lack thereof) can also be evaluated in degrees of lack. This next section describes the impact to businesses lacking innovativeness at different levels. A business that lacks innovativeness is likely to face several challenges and risks in the future. Here are some potential consequences of a business that lacks any innovativeness:

  • Increased competition: If a business does not innovate, it may find it difficult to differentiate itself from competitors, which could lead to price-based competition and decreased market share.

  • Declining relevance: As technology advances and consumer preferences change, a business that fails to innovate may become less relevant to its target audience. This could result in declining sales, profitability, and ultimately, business failure.

  • Reduced efficiency: A business that does not innovate may struggle to keep up with competitors who adopt new technologies and processes to increase efficiency and productivity. This could result in higher costs, decreased profitability, and a loss of market share.

  • Missed opportunities: Without innovation, a business may miss out on opportunities to develop new products, enter new markets, or improve existing offerings. This could limit growth potential and lead to stagnation.

  • Talent retention: A lack of innovation could make it difficult to attract and retain top talent who are looking for opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects and be part of an innovative culture.

In short, to stay relevant and competitive, businesses need to prioritize innovation and continuously strive to improve their products, services, and operations.

A business that has some innovativeness but is only reactionary may face challenges in the future. Here are some potential consequences:

  • Limited competitive advantage: While some innovation is better than none, if a business is only reacting to competitors or market changes, it may struggle to develop a sustainable competitive advantage. The business may be able to catch up with competitors, but it may not be able to lead or shape the market.

  • Reduced profitability: Reactive innovation may require a business to invest significant resources in catching up with competitors, rather than developing new products or services that generate higher profit margins. This could result in reduced profitability, which may limit the business's ability to invest in future growth.

  • Missed opportunities: If a business is only reacting to competitors or market changes, it may miss out on opportunities to create new markets, products or services. Reactive innovation may also result in the business being slow to respond to emerging trends, which could limit its ability to capitalize on new opportunities.

  • Reduced agility: Reactive innovation may require a business to restructure its operations and processes to adapt to changing circumstances. This could make the business less agile and less able to respond to future changes.

  • Limited innovation culture: A business that is only reacting to competitors or market changes may lack a culture of innovation. This could limit the business's ability to develop new ideas and products, and to attract and retain top talent.

In summary, to stay competitive, businesses need to not only react to changes but also proactively develop new ideas and solutions.

A business that has some proactive innovativeness, but it's inconsistent may face challenges in the future. Here are some potential consequences:

  • Unpredictable growth: Inconsistent innovation can make it difficult for a business to sustain growth. If a business does not develop new products or services consistently, it may experience peaks and valleys in revenue and profitability, which can be difficult to predict and manage.

  • Missed opportunities: Inconsistent innovation may result in a business missing out on opportunities to develop new products or services. A business may have the right ideas, but if it fails to consistently execute on them, it may not be able to capitalize on these opportunities.

  • Reduced competitiveness: Inconsistent innovation may make it difficult for a business to keep up with competitors who are consistently developing new products or services. This could result in a loss of market share, decreased revenue, and reduced profitability.

  • Reduced employee morale: Inconsistent innovation can also have an impact on employee morale. Employees may become frustrated if they feel that their ideas are not being heard or that the business is not committed to innovation.

  • Limited innovation culture: Inconsistent innovation may also limit the development of a culture of innovation within the business. If employees do not see consistent innovation as a priority, they may be less likely to come up with new ideas or take risks.

In conclusion, a business that has some proactive innovativeness but is inconsistent needs to consistently invest in their employees and/or teams as well as encourage a culture of innovation that values creativity, experimentation, and risk-taking to stay competitive and innovative.

Looking to learn more about how to look at your business through an innovativeness lens or how to implement an innovation strategy? Click here to get started.


BONUS: Indicators that the Innovativeness could be improved

There are several indicators that innovativeness could be improved in a business. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Lack of new product development: One of the most obvious indicators of poor innovativeness is a lack of new product development. If a business is not introducing new products or services, it may be a sign that they are not investing enough in research and development or not encouraging new ideas from employees.

  2. No clear innovation strategy: Another indicator of poor innovativeness is the lack of a clear innovation strategy. If a business does not have a plan or framework for innovation, it is unlikely that they will be able to generate new ideas and bring them to market successfully.

  3. High employee turnover: High employee turnover can be a sign that a business is not fostering a culture of innovation. Employees may leave if they feel that their ideas are not being heard or that the company is not receptive to new ideas.

  1. Low employee engagement: Low employee engagement can also indicate poor innovativeness. Employees who are disengaged may not be motivated to come up with new ideas or share their perspectives on how the business could improve.

  2. Little investment in innovation: A lack of investment in innovation is another indicator that innovativeness could be improved in a business. If a business is not allocating resources to research and development, it may be difficult for them to stay competitive in the long run.

  3. Resistance to change: Finally, a resistance to change can also be a sign that innovativeness needs to be improved. If a business is resistant to new ideas or hesitant to try new things, they may be missing out on opportunities for growth and improvement.

By addressing these indicators, a business can work towards improving its innovativeness and fostering a culture of creativity and growth.


STRATASCENSION was founded on the notion that business is relational and growth is achieved through the deepening of all the micro connections between people, processes, tools, & performance. We want to help small businesses enhance these connections and leverage them for transformation.


Employee Experience significantly influences Innovativeness

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