This year has tested our agility and resilience in innovating our businesses. We have witnessed people revamping their organizations and businesses to continuously fit unprecedented changes derived from COVID-19. Why did it take a pandemic for businesses to innovate? Were they already continuously finding opportunities out of a frustration that a service or product wasn’t available to solve a problem?
I have been collecting ideas on my Notes in my iPhone out of a frustration for something. These ideas range from technology to digestible cups.
If you are entrepreneurial, ideas to innovate come to mind out of a frustration for something that is not working.
Do you recognize that feeling of frustration?
Broadsheet started their online digital media brand about the best things to do in your city out of a frustration that the founder wasn’t getting that content, as a twenty-four-year-old living in Melbourne.
Uber started their share ride app out of a frustration from co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp couldn’t find a cab on a snowy Paris evening.
Dropbox started a cloud storage company out of a frustration that Drew Houston had to carry a thumb drive around and emailing files to himself.
The list goes on…
That shift from frustration to innovation is instrumental to your entrepreneurial mindset. Oftentimes, we dismiss the opportunity to create new, improved or inventive solutions to our products and services because we are stuck with our frustration. A shift in thinking is pivotal, as a problem presents us with an opportunity.
The opportunity for innovation — whether it be incremental, disruptive, architectural or radical — is a form of improvement because you’re providing a solution. Broadsheet improved the experience of living in Melbourne for twenty-year olds. Uber improved the experience of catching a cab. Dropbox improved the experience of saving files. These startups provided a solution, but didn’t stop there. They had to continuously improve or innovate their service to maximize on the user’s experience; in order to stay in market.
So, if we have shifted from frustration to innovation, how do we maintain continuity of innovation?
Continuous improvement is synonymous to innovation and these terms are interchangeable. We can learn from Japan, where they are able to look at something that seems perfect and set about to improving it. Their notion of improvement is not limited to putting things right.
“I think if you’re not using this time to think about strategic alternatives to reinvent at least part of your business offerings, then you’ll get passed by.
‘How do we need to adopt or evolve?’ because the way that we used to do things may not be applicable to the next six months or 18 months.”
— Jason Schloetzer, a professor of business administration at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
3 Steps to Innovation
Apply these three steps to shift your mindset from frustration to innovation:
- Recognize there is a problem — Feeling frustrated!
- Turn it into an opportunity — Your ‘ah-ha’ moment!
- Imagine a solution after every solution — Great it works, but ‘what if?’
Innovation should be embedded in your business strategy to generate new ideas; in order to, stay abreast of rapid technological changes or pivot to reinvent your business in times of a pandemic (e.g. #2020).
Continuous improvement should be part of your business culture in responding to opportunities at periods of 6 months, 12 months or 18 months or else your business becomes a product or service of the past.
Propel yourself to become future-proof by turning your business frustrations into innovations. We hope that 2020 has transformed your mindset around innovation. We are excited to see how many more businesses will propel to innovate in this coming year.
Looking for advice on setting up these 3 Steps to Innovation?
Contact us here: https://www.propelinnovations.co/
Can you guess what the top 3 motivators were for people to propel into the future of work?
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