Innovation Isn’t Always About What’s New
You know who you are: You get a tiny bit nervous when you see that your smartphone wants to install your update. You’re frustrated when your favorite news app has been redesigned, and you’ve avoided self-checkout for a solid decade. You’re the innovation-averse and at SJC, we see you. We feel your pain. And we say it’s time to see innovation in a new, totally non-threatening light.
In the latest episode of Unfiltered Marketing, our podcast at SJC Marketing, we sit down with our innovation team. Consisting of a few of SJC’s employees, the team consists of a variety of roles from within the company, including design, sales and account management and web design. The team gathered to talk about some ideas surrounding innovation and how any size company can innovate:
Innovation isn’t always new. The innovation team is quick to tell you that innovation isn’t limited to completely original ideas. Sometimes it’s about using a tool in a new way, applying outside-the-box thinking to a recurring problem or looking at what a business partner is doing and then improving it further for your own uses.
Innovation starts from the top down. Much of the push toward innovative thinking comes from the company president. While the president of SJC doesn’t sit on the innovation team, it was her idea and her push to put together a group of people that could apply some fresh thoughts and put them in motion. If a company’s president is uninterested in innovation, it’s an uphill climb for the forward-thinking members of their team.
Form a team with diverse approaches. When you think of innovation, you may gravitate toward building a team that’s all high energy, quick decisions and a drive to execute. It’s a good idea to purposely include some more contemplative, deliberate types into your innovation team. It gives balance to the kind of pie-in-the-sky ideas that can tank a budget and never show a return.
Don’t pivot to a completely new product or service. Innovation is generally best when it plays off what you already do well. Listen to your customers to find out what would make your brand even a little better and look for solutions. Finding ways to build on your core business is your best bet for innovation.
Don’t be afraid to try new tech. This is one of the big bottlenecks for innovation. When a company wants to innovate, but shies away from the necessary tools to improve their customers’ experience or tighten up productivity, innovation gets stifled. Try a new app, download that tool and give it a shot.
Check out more ideas about what innovation looks like in everyday business practices by listening to the latest episode of Unfiltered Marketing!