Redundant Innovation?

“Innovation brings new business challenges around scale, security and the management of it all has no endpoint” “Catching that wave of innovation has had a profound effect on the business which is now more profitable.”

They are extremes but natural responses to the question on whether innovation should be adopted by an organisation. Not all forms of innovation will be right for a company, but it is important to discover and explore partnerships with ventures that may fulfil some requirements or solve a certain problem. How does a large player find innovation?

 

Most forward thinking companies argue they have access to the latest innovation. After long internal processes a business may embrace a ‘new’ concept or product and then look to communicate this adoption to their target market. It is this ability to weave innovation into a business that some struggle with. The acquisition of the latest ideas can also be difficult, but businesses are often less forthcoming in admitting this.

EP prides itself on its Entrepreneurs Club and bringing innovation into companies across the hospitality industry. However as more organisations look to add value and differentiate themselves, does the word ‘innovation’ grow in importance but lose its actual reasoning and use?

Innovation can be used to transform current ways of working and can be applied to all layers of a business. In arecent report by Deloitte, which surveyed 10,000 HR executives, the findings showed that talent management (from learning and management to executive recruiting) is shifting. The result of the workplace change is the growing importance of human capital – possibly the last area of innovation?

Therefore technology isn’t the only form of innovation. There are numerous examples of non-tech innovations which can add value.  Some forms of innovation are seeing shifts in business models with a shared economy or peer-to-peer economy growing. It can range from simple changes to complete overhauls. The overuse of the term, innovation, may also lead to confusion and diminished importance.

Today, new ideas must be designed to combat issues and also create solutions to problems that may be faced in the future. This need to evolve is highlighted by the examples of Blockbusters and Woolworths, who in some ways, failed to adapt to a changing market.

Innovation can simply mean thinking differentlyinthewayanorganisationapproaches problems.Somecompaniesarguedthatcustomer- led innovation is the most important route. But is the secret to innovate slightly ahead of customers? Operating at a speed as trends are recognised and therefore innovating at the same speed as customers are exposed to them.

It can be hard to truly innovate. Inventing the future is never easy. The future also often comes from unexpected sources. Innovation may come from within a business or some need support which can come from communities – such as EP’s entrepreneurial work.

The essential part is that support comes from innovation leaders. Great innovators in history have often been leaders – those who trust instincts and hold self-belief in their authority. Is there a lack of these leaders today? As many look to innovate within a company, others are looking to reinvent a new generation of innovative leaders.