Innovation is an inherent part of entrepreneurship and critical to the growth of every business. Accenture conducted a survey that found 93% of surveyed executives see innovation as a critical component to their company’s long-term success. The same survey also found that only 18% of these executives felt that their current level of innovation was giving their business an advantage. This disparity suggests that companies understand the important role that innovation plays in entrepreneurship, yet they don’t know how to become innovative. Here are a few tips for understanding the power of innovation.
Innovation Never Sleeps
The very nature of innovation is always moving and changing. It is never stagnant or sleeping, and this means that companies can’t afford to sleep either. In other words, companies must always be working towards innovation. Viewing it as a process is much more effective than seeing as something to be found. Innovation starts with an idea. Many businesses make the mistake of assuming it ends here. After the idea, a solution must be formulated. Finally, the transformation to the company and the entire market comes as the solution is actively solving a need.
Find a Problem, Provide a Solution
There is a temptation to try and work backwards from the final product solution. Entrepreneurs need to focus on finding a problem that needs to be solved before even thinking about a solution. If a company creates a great solution or product that matches nobody’s problems or needs, than it won’t be innovative at all. Steve Jobs understood this fundamental rule of innovation quite well. In order to come up with the concept of the iPod, he started with a problem. He wanted to be able to fit “1,000 songs in his pocket”. The innovative solution to that problem was the iPod. Entrepreneurs need to find a problem first and then seek an innovative solution.
Embrace the Changing Tides
Innovation occurs outside of the routine functioning of a business. Innovative ideas don’t always come to support the status quo, but they more often change the way that things are done. If an entrepreneur comes up with an innovative idea, it may not fit with his/her current operation of business. Some people may be tempted to ditch the idea altogether instead of having to transform business production. Entrepreneurs should be able to embrace change if it would help implement an innovative solution.