When a company has an innovative culture, it will grow more easily, even if the creative process is not always easy. Today, every organization feels the impact of globalization, technological revolutions and issues related to climate change. That's why, more than ever, companies need innovation to add value, stand out from the competition and build sustainable growth.
Innovation is described as the improvement of products, processes, services, technologies or ideas. It differs from invention, rather defined as the creation of a product or the introduction of a process for the first time.
In a rapidly changing world, any business executive - no matter the size or nature of the business - should explore innovation. Intuit identifies six different "new generation" models around which companies want to position themselves: product / service innovation, organizational / process innovation, marketing and business innovation, business model innovation, technological innovation and social innovation.
Regardless of the type of innovation, in general it drives the organization to differentiate itself from the competition, increase revenues and make positive changes either in society, to business development and to a long-term growth.
But innovation itself is not enough. Too often, companies focus on technology instead of the problem. To truly transform a great idea into innovation that will change the world, other factors must be taken into account.
We regularly read that the key is to align your idea with the strategic objectives and the business model of your company. A research analyst notes five points to consider in particular:
- Competitive advantage: your innovation should allow your company to have a unique competitive position on the market.
- Alignment of activity: the differentiating factors of your innovation should align with the strategic direction of your organization and its objectives.
- Customers: knowing the customers who will benefit from your innovation is essential.
- Execution: it is important to identify the resources, processes, risks, partners, suppliers and the ecosystem necessary for the success of your innovation.
- Commercial value: An essential factor in choosing "what idea to pursue?” is the assessment of the value of innovation and how it will benefit your business.
Amazon is today one of the most powerful companies in the world. For more than 20 years, the company and its CEO Jeff Bezos have challenged customer expectations. If the organization relies on rigorous data and processes, the willingness to accept uncertainty, inconsistencies and experimentation seem to have an even greater role to play.
Amazon is the fastest company to have turned its turnover from $ 0 billion to $ 100 billion and its CEO says it's all about learning to fail. For him, this is clearly what has allowed Amazon to learn how its model of innovation can help the company to grow. Jeff Bezos has built a culture and philosophy of customer-centric innovation and a long-term vision. He says: "Our customers are loyal to us until someone else offers them better service. (…) And I like it. It's very motivating for us. Our job is to invent new options that no one has ever thought of before and to see if customers like them. ".
In this way, the company has disrupted several business lines. Unlike Apple or Google whose ecosystem is designed with closely related services and applications, Amazon relies on platforms each serving their own consumers in the best way possible.
Second largest clothing seller in the United States, a study of the Institute for Local Autonomy among 3,000 entrepreneurs reveals Amazon as the main threat they face behind the competition of retail stores and supermarkets, recruiting or the rise in rents.
At the origin of many firsts, Amazon is a singular organization at the top of the most innovative companies because it continues to question itself even when it reaches a comfortable and enviable position. Jeff Bezos talks about maintaining a "Day 1 attitude" that is the same culture of innovation as the first day.
By enhancing its existing business while creating the space to invent future business at the same time, Amazon maintains this culture of innovation and growth.
The important topics we could draw on are:
• the customers « obsession »
• the willingness to fail
• the patience to think long term
• the courage to invent and be a pioneer
• the pride to implement a culture and continuous innovation processes.
Now that customers’ expectations are changing rapidly and technology is constantly evolving, it seems crucial for companies to implement a real innovation strategy while continuing their digital transformation.
Being innovative should always be a part of a company's approach, because beyond the strong added value it can bring to the business, innovation also helps to solve problems differently and strategically. The most appropriate methods can save you time and money and above all, give you a head start in the growth process of your company.
This article is inspired by the ebook "Guide for modern management to match your ambitions" that you can download here.