Today there is constant talk of the need to innovate in companies , something that has undoubtedly become the only guarantee of success in the highly competitive markets that we face.
Despite this, there are still many misconceptions around the concept of “innovation”, especially with the starting point and the process that must be followed to innovate in a company .
In this article, we present three of the most common ideas regarding innovation in companies that do not occur as people normally think.
1. Believe that technology = innovation
The tools and innovations made to our product or service are very important, perhaps one of the most relevant aspects. However, regardless of whether new tools are acquired or product modifications are made, the most important thing when innovating is the purpose of our actions.
How many times is it not seen the case of companies in which expensive CRM or ERP are acquired that at the end of the day do not have accurate data and do not allow to take improvement actions because the employees do not update the information in them.
In this sense, it is necessary that you start with the culture of the company, since, in the innovation processes, having an open mind and accepting that there will probably be errors are key to developing ideas that are taken on the right track.
The business innovation implies that all members of the team are aligned and know in detail the actions to be carried out. That is to say, it is the people who will be the axis of the process and based on their challenges and objectives, whether or not to acquire technological tools.
2. See innovation in the company as a radical process
Thinking of innovation as a plan with steps and timelines also prevents mistakes from trying to cover more than we can.
For some reason, there is a preconception that the innovation process is something that happens in the blink of an eye. That one day the collaborators will arrive at an office where everything will be digitized and they will have to start working with new programs and tools.
The reality is that innovation in companies , or digital transformation processes , must use an incremental and continuous perspective that gradually becomes a bigger innovation. Otherwise, multiple problems will arise in different areas and processes simultaneously and it will be very difficult to identify and correct them.
By taking small, measurable actions piecemeal, one-off difficulties are addressed and continuous improvements are made until moving to the next level of the process.
3. Innovation processes focused on the product and not on the customer
Every day, in different parts of the world, thousands of ideas arise to improve products and create new technologies that replace existing ones. Even many companies have research and development departments whose aim is to constantly create new products and innovations.
Although we will not deny that this can be beneficial for companies, in many cases these actions lack direction when trying to seek innovation opportunities from a perspective focused on the product and not the customer.
An example of this was the Google Glass that Google released in 2012. This product promised that technology would work for you and with it you could do everything you can do with your Smartphone through glasses.
Although it was a very big technological innovation, Google failed to consider that users simply wanted more intuitive smartphones and felt very comfortable carrying them in their pocket.
In our experience, innovation must have a purpose, a problem to be solved, a specific objective, mainly focused on adding value to the customer or developing a competitive advantage. In both cases, innovation must respond to the needs and challenges of your customers.
How do we make our innovations human-centered?
Putting active user listening into practice is one of the keys for innovations to be truly successful, not only when it comes to products or technology. If not in any innovation that takes place in the company.
Perhaps your consumers find that the customer service process is very complicated, that the contact medium used by your advisors is not the right one, or that there is an area of opportunity in your product or service that could be easily solved.
Integrating the insights that your clients can provide through the customer service department, sales or your marketing team is an excellent starting point to improve the innovation processes in your company .
The key to all of this is having departments aligned, with open communication channels and constant feedback processes.
This may bring to light the need to acquire tools to improve communication or have greater visibility of the purchase journey of our customers, so it is definitely a priority to start an innovation process .