Even new emerging companies need to have a well-defined and communicated innovation strategy.
All companies deal with challenges around innovation from time to time, but new companies are more prone to innovation challenges. Here are some of the most common challenges new companies face as well as how to solve them.
Thinking the Company is Too New to Innovate
Many new startups think that innovation is a goal for a day down the road after their footing is established – but this is far from the truth. In fact, waiting to innovate may adversely impact your ability to compete in your industry, which can suppress future growth.
In actuality, new companies are in a great position to develop the necessary culture and system of innovation that will get the job done. Make it every employee’s job and encourage your business ecosystem (your customers, business partners, researchers and other startups) to create external value rather than focusing entirely on the internal energy and inspiration of a few. Make innovation a part of your company’s daily routine from the start.
Not Adequately Sourcing Ideas
There may be no pressing issue to fix when starting out, but that does not mean you do not need to innovate. Innovation is about the process of working toward a future that is not set in stone. Yet companies do not always have what they need inside their company to work towards this eventuality and throw in the towel. This is where open innovation and design thinking come in to save you. Look to your customers to determine what they need and work with them to create it is the way to make great things happen. Be inspired by those ideas and insights so you can stay ahead of the game.
Thinking Innovation is Only for Tech
Many people think of innovation as something only associated with self-driving cars, iPhones, and smart refrigerators. But this is far from the truth. This is one of the greatest innovation challenges of companies today as they mistakenly think that innovation is a silo activity only associated with engineering. Innovative ideas are also necessary for areas like marketing, sales and even to transform the entire business model. There are truly no limits to where innovation can help your company.
Losing Track of Ideas
Another common innovation challenge is losing track of ideas. Maybe you write them down somewhere but never follow through with them or the idea moves into prototyping but it then stalls. You are wasting your time and resources if you are not adequately keeping track of ideas using a system. New and creative ideas are useless if you have no way to keep tabs on them.
To combat this issue, look for apps that provide you with a System of Record for Innovation to manage every phase of innovation, from ideation to incubation, concept development and beyond. Make use of these apps so you can track your ideas and their status over time, making the most of your ideas and resources.
Innovation does not have to be burdensome – even for new companies. By making use of technology, proven best practices and understanding what an innovation culture is all about, any company can make innovation a part of its daily routine. Companies that overcome innovation challenges will create a lot more value for their stakeholder and will be around much longer than those that treat it only as an afterthought. Which category do you want your company to fall into?