Ongoing Innovation As A Necessary Mindset.
As an entrepreneur or independent professional, innovation is your primary access to success in the marketplace now, in the near term and in the future.
What is innovation?
Innovation is defined as making changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. It’s about finding a new way of doing something. Innovation can be viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, in-articulated needs, or existing market needs.
Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something completely different rather than doing the same thing differently. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.
Based on P. Frankelius (2009), "Questioning Two Myths in Innovation Literature," Journal of High Technology Management Research, the term innovation can be defined as something original and, as a consequence, new, that "breaks into" the market or society. This is accomplished through more effective processes, services, products, technologies, or ideas that are already available.
The economist, Joseph Schumpeter, J.A. (1943) in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy states "industries must incessantly revolutionize the economic structure from within, that is, innovate with better or more effective processes and products, such as the shift from the craft to factory."
What Does It Mean To Us?
Schumpeter points out that “successful entrepreneurs continuously look for better ways to satisfy their consumer base” with improved quality, durability, service, and price which come to fruition in innovation with advanced technologies and organizational strategies. If we follow Schumpeter’s statement above where he says that successful entrepreneurs continuously look for better ways to satisfy their customer base it becomes clear that innovation is a NECESSARY mindset.
What can we do?
At the beginning of each year, or rather, EACH quarter, you could answer the following questions for yourself, your partners and colleagues, your teams and your clients:
- What processes could be improved, updated or redesigned to increase our efficiency?
- Is there a new or better method for delivering our service or product?
- How could we improve our offer or pricing?
- What could be changed to improve our customer's experience of buying from us?
- Is there a better service or product we can offer?
- How could we do a better job of filling our customer’s needs?
If you answer these questions on a regular basis, you will begin to build a mindset for ongoing innovation for yourself, your colleagues and your team(s).