Innovations are needed not just in products and services. They are more importantly needed in looking at markets differently, going to market differently, for better relationship orientation and also around the business model.
However many corporate obsessively focus innovation efforts and outcome only on product design and new product development. While these seem as obvious areas which would reap benefits, one cannot ignore the benefits of innovation in area of process, service, sales etc. Where we have seen maximum benefit is when we ask the teams we train to think on their own work process and outcome, and ask them what is it they want to change in the current practices as both performers and beneficiaries.
We constantly tell our clients that innovation does not mean coming up with one great new idea. It is coming up with useful small shifts in routine, small experiments which could possibly move productivity, throughput, resource utilization by many notch higher. By encouraging the employees to perceive innovation as that little thought that could make their work life easier and better, more benefits have been reaped than when innovation is seen as that epiphanic moment of path breaking idea.
Every time we get a chance to re-orient the strategic innovation ability of an organization, we realize the true potential of an institution. Unleashing the innovative abilities of people results in tremendous energy within the institution and thereby resulting in improved performance (internal and external).
So where is your focus: Narrowly focused on products or broadly at the level of organizational process and dynamics? Focused on that one big strike or on many small experiments?