It’s 2022 and we’re all obsessed with growth. Everyone wants to evolve into something bigger, better, and downright revolutionary.
When I’m browsing articles online or reviewing my social media feeds, I’m always seeing people sharing tips for driving innovation within companies. But, I want to ask a more fundamental question.
Is your company even capable of innovating?
Just because the desire to grow and innovate is present doesn’t mean it’s possible with your current systems.
You might be able to innovate slightly by updating outdated processes and models. But, your company’s infrastructure may be resisting innovation on a fundamental level. So even when you’re envisioning this total innovation and a “new era” for your organization, you might only be able to foster slight changes.
If we want that groundbreaking innovation for our companies, we need to evaluate the organization’s capacity for evolution, first.
Defining Innovation in 2022
I was inspired to ask this question by an HBR article I came across recently. The article was discussing the current state of the world where uncertainty dominates everything around us. This environment is forcing people to seek creative solutions in order to thrive in the future.
HBR defined innovation as “the process by which new things create value,” and calls it a discipline that “involves organizing and operating differently from how you manage the regular business.”
In other words, you can’t try to innovate by maintaining the same approach, mindset, and model of the past.
When you want to innovate, you need to step outside the box, try new things, and embrace the change.
In today’s environment, companies are talking about all things cyber and mobility. Right now, the end goal that many organizations are working towards is perfecting the “hybrid” work model, enabling team members to effectively work from just about anywhere.
Unfortunately, companies aren’t as ready for this transition as they think they are.
In order to move into the future of work with confidence and a winning strategy, the first item on the agenda is working on your company's willingness to tackle innovation.
How to Audit Your Company’s Aptitude for Innovation
What things do you need to do at your company to make sure that innovation is even possible?
Boosting your company’s capacity for innovation will be a unique process for each organization since it will need to address specific points of friction that resist new solutions.
In order to create your own custom road map to expand your company’s potential for innovation, you can start by asking a few questions to determine your current position.
#1. Where is there room for growth?
Take a look at your company’s operations data to determine strengths and weaknesses. Think about areas that could be improved and brainstorm ways to optimize your current systems.
#2. How will you benchmark progress?
When you’re innovating, you need to have an organized system to track and record your progress. This allows you to adjust the approach as needed and identify which strategies work best.
#3. Who will own the innovative processes?
Do you have a team specifically for innovation? You’ll need creative-minded individuals to plan and implement new innovations.
#4. Where will the resources come from?
Innovation requires time and money, so you’ll need to know where you’ll source these essential resources from.
#5. What’s the first step?
How will you dive into innovation? Mapping out your first step will lay the groundwork for a strong innovation strategy — where growth is actually possible.