When it seems like every idea has already been patented or brought to fruition, that’s a key indicator that innovation in your company is lacking. Traditionally, advancements in business technology have driven innovation for companies. If your company’s innovation well is running dry, then there are measures that your business can take to become more innovative.
Losing sight of innovation is common for organizations. Innovation seems to be related to inspiration and it comes and goes in cycles–at the apparent mercy of some muse-like character. As businesses grow, their focus shifts toward keeping things consistent and going with what works rather than trying new things. Eventually, it gets to the point where nothing new is happening and everyone in the office is too focused on preservation and preventing disruptions to the current operations. You have to be intentional about breaking this cycle if you want your business to be innovative.
Innovation via Acquisition
One of the more common ways to fix your company’s innovation problem is acquisition. Unfortunately, this is costly and it takes time to fully acclimate two different companies. If you think about it for a moment, you’ll realize that buying a company and forcing it to comply with the same standards that you currently have will eventually do the same innovation-killing thing to the acquired company that has happened to yours. The innovation will be short-lived or even nonexistent, and you’ll be stuck with the same problem you had in the first place, only with a lot less coin in your pocket.
The proper way to acquire a company can be seen with Dell’s acquisition of certain aspects of IBM servers. It’s all about finding the thing that you value in the bought company and protecting it. You can further increase the acquired company’s strong points by providing them with resources which will bolster their ability to meet your expectations.
Skunk Works: Gather Your Most Innovative Team Members
Skunk works might sound like a smelly idea, but it sure can help you get the innovation flowing. Skunk works is when you create a separate firm filled with innovative thinkers whose sole purpose is to come up with new ideas for your firm. This removes any restrictions you might have on your infrastructure which could prevent new ideas and innovations.
The idea behind skunk works is that, by removing anything that can prevent innovative thinking, the separate entity can operate more like a startup. EMC’s Pivotal Labs is a perfect example of how skunk works functions.
Innovation via Friendly Competition
Unfortunately, for a large company, the problem still remains the same – its strict policies can block innovation. To help with this, Dell managed to put together an Innovation Day, which is a reality show-like program where multiple companies compete for a fully-funded innovation trial. The winning company gets the prize of springboarding into a full-sized company which includes further funding. An incentive like this is sure to motivate your team.
Sometimes, innovation comes from just getting an outside perspective on your situation. Think Tank NTG can be your muse and help you develop many of your ideas, especially when it comes to bringing new and helpful technology into the mix. Call us today at 800-501-DATA to see how the latest technology can help your business become more innovative.