Derek Bishop


What’s the point of innovation?

Date added: 14th Apr 2016
Category: Innovation Culture

Organisations which build a culture of innovation are able to build and deliver products and services which solve a genuine problem, add real value to the customer and drive growth for the creator.

Building a culture of innovation isn’t rocket science, but depending on your current level of innovation maturity it may require a reappraisal of everything from beliefs and behaviours to organisational structure. So why bother? Surely as a business leader you’ve got enough on your plate trying to retain or regain market share, pacifying shareholders who are upset by dwindling market values, filling still more employee vacancies and trying to work out why yet another project is well behind time.

With all that and more on your plate another culture change attempt would be just one thing too many, wouldn’t it? And after all, even if a BCG 2015 report revealed that 79% of respondents saw innovation as being a top three priority for their company, aren’t innovation enthusiasts simply jumping on the bandwagon?

Well they might be, but only because those organisations which have successfully built a culture of innovation have demonstrated just how game changing innovation can be. And to be quite honest, if you are spending your time fire-fighting, perhaps it’s more than time you took a good look at your company culture. Let’s just look at some of those problems which you are facing:

Market share

Our world is one in which technology has levelled the playing field. Businesses can no longer trade on longevity or expect processes which have stood them in good stead for decades to continue to deliver a solid market share. This is a world in which disruptors can come from anywhere and if those disruptors are able to identify real customer needs and agile enough to produce real solutions then they will take your market from you.

In order to compete with disruptors, you have to be prepared to be your own disruptor and that means building a culture of innovation which collaborates to deliver real solutions in an agile manner.

Market valuation & profitability

When your market share is leaching away it is hardly surprising that profitability is falling and taking the company valuation down with it. The gut reaction is to slash costs, closedown departments, get rid of employees but unless you are very fortunate all you are doing is staving off the inevitable.

The true solution in order to rebuild market share is to take a good look at your organisation, to get rid of silos and hierarchies, to engage employees in creating success and to deliver products and services which add real value for customers and the business.


Employees leaving

Your employees are bright, intelligent people. They want to work for an organisation which they are proud of and which delivers products which they really feel they had a hand in creating. If all you are offering is the same old tightly controlled suffocating environment and it’s hardly surprising they are leaving to join businesses which value collaboration and employee input.

Project creep

When product development is an endless cycle of consultations and iterations then it’s hardly surprising that by the time you have eventually churned out your brightly polished finished article either the marketplace or customer needs have moved on.  The BCG report highlighted the fact that fast innovators get new products to market quickly and generate more sales from them (at least 30% of revenue).

What’s the point of innovation? Quite simply, organisations which build a culture of innovation are able to build and deliver products and services which solve a genuine problem, add real value to the customer and drive growth for the creator. Wouldn’t you say that is worth disrupting your organisation in the short term for?


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