A large part of the SME Organizations is concerned with improving what they produce and the processes they use, that is, to make faster and cheaper what they have to offer.
It is a culture, imbued with processes that are often aimed at excellence in productivity, in quality, in continuous improvement process or growth strategy, but which can kill innovation.
It is a culture learned from big companies that focus on the past, and that apply and replicate things that have been proven as symbols of efficiency. These companies work with reliable things and do not open the door to what can be valid because they consider, most of the times, that it is in the trust of the brand that is their competitive advantage.
When a company works on a solution to satisfy the needs of its customers, and only seeks to reduce costs of this exploration in addition to offering small improvements and increased “novelties”, there is a risk of walking in the opposite direction of the treadmill.
If we reflect a little, we end up agreeing that both in SMEs and in startups there are active creative people because, in this type of organizations, there is a need for a lot of creativity to lead businesses to the path of success.
Perhaps it is more difficult to find creativity in large companies and in some SMEs because of organizational structure and business processes. The structure and processes make it almost impossible to be creative and meet the needs and wants of consumers / users.
For this small organizations must think about working three variables (encouraging – fail – combine) when trying to successfully try new ideas, says Vijay Govindarajan.
On the one hand, it is necessary for companies to encourage constant experimentation, but inexpensive experimentation. On the other hand, an organization that admits error is an organization that is growing and therefore learns from failures. Finally, it is good for the organization to learn how to combine failed ideas to form innovative ideas.
However, only ideas are not enough to walk the path of innovation. Innovation is the creation of value through something new and useful.
” There are three reasons why people latch onto ideation. One, ideation is easy. You can go into a dark room and all kinds of great ideas will come to you. Two, ideation doesn’t cost money. You can just sit in your office and think.
Three, only during execution do you see the conflict between the old and the new. Execution is not only dull and boring, it takes a long time and it takes resources. Execution creates conflict whereas ideation doesn’t.”
It is good, therefore, that in small organizations, there is someone who can mediate these conflicts and facilitate the development of structured processes that can lead to organization from ideation, through prototyping and user / consumer feedback, to sales.
During this execution period, ywe must think about costs and losses, in speed and quality, in lean and agile.
Everything is important in these moments of execution. The quality of the research, the effectiveness of the tests and the consumer / user feedback, or the way we think the design of our path and the way we want to grow.
We can only grow if what we produce or deliver really fits into customer needs or solve a perfectly defined problem.
It is good to remember that companies must also explore the terrain around problems that do not yet have a known solution.
So… what about our path?
A more strategic approach to innovation makes it possible to:
Become aware of trends that may affect our business;
Develop a greater capacity for assimilation (gradual process of evaluation and absorption of the best innovations, whatever the source) and better ability to listen to the customer’s voice;
Better understanding of white spaces opportunities and new markets;
Better understanding of organizational strengths and weaknesses.
Alignment of employees with strategic objectives;
Development of dedicated teams and strengthening the culture of innovation in the organization.
And, finally a reflexion!
“They have taken a long-since-solved mystery—they are often, but not always, the ones who solved it many decades ago—and have spent the intervening decades refining the resultant heuristic into an algorithm. They deal in reliability—the reliable reproduction of the desired outcome again and again at the largest possible scale at the minimum cost and with the minimum…
Go and hang out in the R&D department and look at the degree to which they are really just honing and refining existing products.” In many cases, the R&D department hones and refines, sustaining an innovation, rather than building a new business”- Roger Martin
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