There is a direct relationship between the quality of an organisation's ideas and their business success. The journey an organisation takes can vary from being painful to exhilarating. Unlike a roller coaster ride, going down in business is something that we want to avoid. There are generally 4 stages along an innovation success journey. The stages we get stuck on or progress to, are largely determined by the quality and quantity of ideas. There are also 3 basic types of businesses in regards to innovation. They are:
1. The Copycat Business
The copycat business is the organisation that doesn't believe in the power of innovation. They think it's easier and cheaper to copy what the competition is doing. And yes, while copying what your competitor is doing can lead to a small amount of success, imitation is not innovation and the market place are quick to pick up that. When we stick in the copycat mindset we will forever be trying to compete on price. Most compete on price by using a less superior product or service to achieve this. The business is far from sustainable and the future is clouded with uncertainty. This is the first stage on an innovation journey that for many will never improve.
2. The Pedestrian Business
The pedestrian business at the beginning think for themselves. This 1st step of creating their own ideas rapidly brings them more success than the copycat businesses (stage 2). The pedestrian business usually starts strong with a few good ideas, but not long after (because of a lack of continuing idea generation), the number of good ideas they can choose from declines and they're left with mediocre ideas. The resultant products, process or services become run of the mill ie. they meet a need yet don't create raving fans. Without intervention they are often headed back into a black hole where the emphasis of the business becomes one about performance improvement (without considering continuing innovation). The performance mindset can't help but look for tweaks in the production or service line. A cost saving here and cost saving there, and you're back to competing on price and being a copycat business.
3. The Exciting Business
The exciting business has pushed past the early glory phase of 'runs on the board', they understand that a successful business depends on a continuing number of fresh ideas being generated (stage 3). They realise that quantity leads to quality in their ideas. With such a large number of ideas being generated, it becomes easy to spot the brilliant ideas that the business needs (stage 4). By creating ideas, products, process and service that are so good it creates a contagious effect on the end users. Sales increase, satisfaction increases, team motivation and recognition increases and so to does the business success. The exciting business continues to innovate and therefore maintain and continually increase its margin of success.
I look forward to hearing about your contagious ideas!
Innovation Blueprint - founded by Nils Vesk
Nils Vesk is an innovation architect who applies the process of design thinking to the business of generating and realising ideas. Click here to find out more about his book Ideas with Legs.