If you want to be successful if your chosen industry for any length of time, then you need to ensure that your company puts innovation at the front and center of everything they do.
Companies like Volvo Penta and Boeing, and Kraft have not been in business for more than a century because they have rested on their laurels; they have continued to refine, reformulate and implement new technologies to ensure that their products are still relevant and more importantly, the most effective at what they do.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at a few things you can do to ensure your business stays innovative over the years:
Look to future trends
It’s obvious, but if you want your company to be one, you need to keep your eye on any up-and-coming trends in your industry, trade magazines and technology blogs are a couple o good sources for doing this, but the more widely you read, the easier it will be for you to identify new trends before they go mainstream, allowing you to be a leading innovator, providing you act on them, of course.
Invest in the best technology
If you want to be innovative for any length of time, you need to embrace technology. The latest technologies, whether it be artificial intelligence that helps you to improve your customer service or a new piece of machinery that helps you build your products with more precision, will give you a competitive edge and ensure that you do not get left behind. Yes, it can be a big investment but if you weigh it up and find that a piece of tech will help to save you time and boost your sales, it is probably worth it in the long term.
If you want to keep innovation at the heart of your business, you need to employ people who are innovators themselves. You need to find the top talent; the disruptors, the people who have their fingers on the pulse and the skill and creativity to come up with new ideas and solutions at the drop of a hat. Yes, again, hiring the best people may be more expensive in the first instance, but they will help you to grow an exciting and innovative company which will lead to more riches down the line.
If you are stuck in a rut and you do not know what you can do to make your products more innovative, it is always worth going back and looking at any problems that the current product or service does not solve, and engineering ways you can change that so the problem is solved. This is a great way, at the very least, to get the cogs of your mind turning, so even if that problem is seemingly unsolvable, you will more than likely come up with another idea you can use. Innovation is about never standing still!
Innovation is the key to success – never forget that!