In the early days of my business career, innovation was synonymous with Research and Development. New inventions were created, patented and developed into commercial applications. Back then, innovation appeared to come from scientists in a lab, engineers or marketing teams. So how do businesses innovate today?

Digital Transformation

Fundamentally, the internet changed the game. Nowadays, leading edge software and cutting-edge tools are readily available, as is information and knowledge at a fraction of the cost, in virtually any industry. Teams collaborate around the world as we are seeing with the ongoing development of Covid-19 vaccines.

Defining Innovation

In many instances’ innovation is about applying existing knowledge, resources, and technology to solve a given business problem.

Many business owners see innovation as putting the pieces of a puzzle together to solve problems. Commonly using tools such as the Business Model Canvas to help their businesses innovate.

For instance, Google go by the 70-20-10 rule  for innovation. Let’s take a look at that split: 

  • 70% of a company’s innovation resource should be applied at incremental innovation of your core business
  • 20% should be aimed at expanding the core
  • 10% should be applied to breakthrough innovation that can transform the future of the business.

This is a great guide to use to look and see how you allocate your resources to different projects or work.

Advice for businesses who want to innovate

The good news is, you don’t need large budgets to incrementally innovate around your customer service or to improve your processes. Companies now compete to see who has the best solution to a problem their marketplace has or a service they need.

Our advice is to focus on solving customer problems. This type of innovation tends to get traction quicker and produces faster results.

What percentage of your business resource do you devote to innovation in your business?

Engage your customers by envisioning and building better products and experiences, developing go-to-market approaches and improving business models— Innovate to generate new growth, meaningful differentiation and real economic value.

Business Navigation Services specialise in facilitating and supporting you with workshops, keynotes and project management. Book a FREE 30 minute consultation call with us to help you identify the next steps for your business.