SMART Ways to Inspire Innovation

In today’s business world, it is the fast and innovative companies that have the edge, regardless of size. I had a close friend at Google tell me that the reason they were acquiring so many companies was that they believed it would better to overpay than miss out on the next big opportunity.

SMART innovation is more than just a new idea, product or service. It is also adding value to a product or service that already exists. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates took Xerox’s idea of a graphic user interface and took it to the next level. Netflix revolutionized how we watch movies and TV shows. Amazon focused on convenience.

It is easy to rest on your laurels and get complacent. Before you know it, a more innovative competitor is starting to gobble market share. How do you prevent your business from becoming stagnant? Here are some SMART tips to inspire innovation within your company so you can continue to stay relevant.

Expand Your Network

Opportunities are tied to people, so if you are looking for an opportunity, you need to expand your network. Talking to people in your industry, business associates, and other like-minded people can give you great ideas.

Work with the Right People

Purpose and processes are important, but it is people that generate ideas. Hire the right people or outsource important functions. Not only can they help you generate more ideas, but they can also free you up so you have the time to be creative. This could be getting a company like Oxygen IT to manage your tech infrastructure so you don’t have to.

Set Aside Your Ego

It doesn’t matter who comes up with the best idea as long as it is the best idea. To inspire innovation it is important to have a safe environment where people can express their ideas without worry of judgment. If you are the boss, encourage new ideas and set aside your ego. It is easy to put down an idea because you didn’t think of it. No one of us is smarter than all of us!

Cooperating and Collaborate

Collaborate with your team to generate better ideas. Look at combining your specialty with that of another company and see where the combination takes you. Who knows, you can be the peanut butter and they could be the jelly!

Ask Your Customers!

Customer feedback, complaints, suggestions, and even how they use your product or service can you give you valuable feedback. Their insights can be extremely valuable. to continually improve and innovate.

Broaden Your Horizons

Sometimes innovation isn’t about adding but is about subtracting. What could you take away from your product to make it better? Apple took away the headphone jack and in the process created a new market for Bluetooth headphones. Innovation can take a variety of forms.

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