Whether you are a big organisation or a small team, you must innovate. At the core of every great business is its innovation that continues to disrupt and improve the market.
Although innovation comes from good ideas, it is easy to get caught up in just trying to get more propositions. However, to really foster an innovative company, you must put a support system in place to enable, empower and encourage innovation in your organisation.
As an innovation manager, I often focus on building an idea portfolio. These ideas must cover the three types of innovation every company should be doing to remain relevant. These types of innovation include:
When we think about innovation, this is the type that excites us. Transformative innovation challenges the business to do new things by creating new value and business models for different industries and customer segments.
This type of innovation is all about keeping our customers happy. As organisations, we continue to improve our products and services to make our customers delighted as their needs change.
Although not talked about a lot, this is the type of innovation that makes our organisations better. By investing in advanced technologies or automation, we can deliver our products and services faster, cheaper and more efficiently. As a result, our organisations can remain competitive.
Although sustaining and efficient innovation is essential, they leave gaps in our market. Sustaining innovation makes the old version of our products irrelevant (no one cares about YouTube version 2). Also, efficiency innovation leads to layoffs as automation makes specific jobs irrelevant.
To grow the market that we are in, we want transformative innovation. However, as you can imagine, it is risky and often pushes the boundaries of your workforce.
Nevertheless, having a balance across all three types is the key. But over the last few years, we have seen companies shy away from transformative innovation in pursuit of cash reserves to keep them afloat in uncertain times.