Innovation is at the heart of entrepreneurship. Innovation is a word derived from the Latin word “innovare” which means into new. The simplest way to define innovation is by doing something different. Howard Schultz, chief executive and chairman of Starbucks coffee company for more than 20 years, defines innovation: “Innovation must be disruptive. And by disruptive, I mean disruptive. You got to fracture and break the rules and disrupt.” For businesses to thrive in a competitive landscape, they have to be willing to adapt and change – but what does innovation mean in business? Business innovation is the creation of substantial new value for the company and customers by creatively changing or improving one or two dimensions of the business systems (Sawhney, 2006).
Business innovation is when an organization introduces something new – whether it’s a new product, services, process, or new market strategy to reinvigorate the company and promote growth and new value. This includes an improvement on an existing practice or method or starting from scratch. Technology also has a connection to innovation. A product that has a combination of other products but with new technology is also seen as a new innovative product (Dolfsma & Leenders, 2016). For any business to become successful, it must have the ability to come up with new ideas to keep the operation running and the services and products fresh.
Here is why Innovation is the Key to Success of Any Business
Innovation has a link to growth. Studies have revealed that innovation can generate opportunities for persistent growth (Zanchettin & Denicoló, 2016). Businesses strive after growth and the strategy of innovation has been proposed as the greatest strategy in the fight for growth. Deloitte in 2015 had conducted an Innovation Survey which showed as many as 66 percent of companies, stated that innovation is very vital for growth. Innovation helps you gain more customers and grab a bigger share of the market.
Innovation helps businesses create a niche in competition. The market is vast and it is occupied with many other companies and individual businesses that may be selling the same category of products as you. Businesses need to stand out differently among all this competition. This is where innovation can help. With the right innovation, businesses can offer something extremely different and unique to their customers. Businesses can take some existing products and give a twist to them, give them a unique shape and make them much better than their original form. This is what makes products stand out in the market and it naturally also means more profit.
Innovation can also help meet customer needs. In a very much competitive market, customers needs are dynamic and are constantly evolving. What you are providing them with today may have a great response from their end. But you cannot be sure if tomorrow the situation is going to be the same. They might be demanding something else. Innovative business ideas have the power to anticipate market changes even before they happen and provide solutions to people even before they feel the need for them. This way your customers are satisfied most of the time. It’s tough to meet customer needs unless you bring in constant innovation in your business. If you are happy with the status quo and refuse to introduce new ideas, your business may start struggling. It’s a must to come up with innovations all the time to excite and please your customers if you want your business to stay relevant.
How to embrace innovation
Innovation is an idea that has been converted into practical reality. To drive business growth, companies need to stay relevant in times of change and differentiate their products from competitors. Business leaders must think creatively and embrace innovation in their business models. Willingness to innovate is not the only component for success, however: managers and leaders must also have a firm understanding of how to bring the innovation to life. One way of doing this is by acquiring the experience of working on challenging, exciting and innovative projects, as doing so will give you the exposure and skills you need to be an innovation driver within an organization.
Tohidi, H. (2012). Innovation as a success key for organizations.
Druker, p. (1985) Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Practice and principles. New York:
Harper and Row Greenfield SM and Strickon A (1986). Introduction. In: Greenfield SM and Strickon A (eds) Entrepreneurship and Social Change.
Ms. Aisha Turaki Ibrahim is an Assistant Lecturer of the Department of Management, School of Arts, Management and Social Science, Skyline University Nigeria. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Business Management from Sheffield Hallam University (U.K)
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