If you leave milk out of the refrigerator for a long time, it will get warm and begin to go bad. The same concept can be applied to your career and business. Getting moldy, going stale, rotting: these can all be words used to describe a career or business that has continued to perform at the same level without making any changes or advances for an extended period of time. In other words, a business that is standing still and stuck in old, inefficient ways is without business innovation.
The world is always changing. Technology evolves by the minute and new start-ups are formed and skyrocket in the business realm in what seems to be the blink of an eye. So, what makes you think that your career and company don’t need to evolve, too?
News flash: It does! And, it can start with you.
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Business Innovation: Defined
Simply put, business innovation can be defined as advancing change. It is an idea that becomes implemented in the current company and eventually transforms it. And, it does this all for the betterment and progression of the business.
Business innovation does not let time stay still. And it surely doesn’t let business get moldy.
Business innovation comes in many forms. It could be the implementation of a new software program or latest technological tool. It could also come at the hands of someone with advanced knowledge or skill – or someone who has an idea for a better way of doing business.
You have a service or a product that your company wants to sell. From inception to the final sale, there are many steps that take place. How well you manage this entire process can put you a step ahead or a step behind your competitor.
Excited about making a change? It only takes one person to initiate it.
The profile of an innovative leader seeking business innovation
To excel in business innovation, The Muse says that you need an innovative leader who will step up and slowly begin to incorporate change within the company. While just about anyone can try their hat at the role, there are certain traits and characteristics that lead to success. After all, you are talking about a metamorphosis – an entire business transformation – from being at or below the status quo to soaring high above the rest.
The profile of an innovative leader will need to contain a few key traits
Problem-solver and strategist
An innovative leader will seek out problems and brainstorm a plan to try and fix them. These may be problems in a specific department, with a particular product, in a designated procedure, or with the company as a whole. Once the problem is defined, the leader will begin forming a strategy to implement change and correct the problem.
Trustworthiness, honesty, and loyalty
An innovative leader has the respect and attention of those around them. They understand that to be able to persuade someone to follow your ideas, you must reflect strength in loyalty and honesty. A good leader won’t allow the ego to overtake decisions and can admit when something isn’t working. Note: Trying to act super-human is not a trait of an innovative leader.
If you are selling a product or service, then you need to appeal to the customer. Innovative leaders know this. They understand the importance of the customer’s role and will not allow their focus to shift from the satisfaction of the customer. To be successful, it is important to do what is right for the customer. This honest and bold attention is what sets a leader apart.
Blunt. Honest. And, straightforward. That is how an innovative leader communicates. To push a business forward, there is no time for sugar-coating what needs to be said or hand-holding to avoid hurt feelings. Honest treatment and communication leave no room for error or misinterpretation. It sets the tone for what needs to take place.
How can you lead a group if you have no goals? If you want to be an innovative leader, you have to have a goal in place, as well as the steps to reach it. You have a mission – and you need to know how it is going to get accomplished. Leaders are goal-oriented and do not make decisions that won’t lead them to their destination.
Standing still or keeping the business running, as usual, can lead to stagnant waters. Innovative leaders are in constant forward-moving motion. They are always trying to be better, learn more, and reach higher. That is what they bring to a company, too. No contentment allowed.
Motivating by setting an example
Innovative leaders focus on where they are going and are less focused on who is following them. That is what makes these individuals so motivating. They are pushing forward in positive change and it can be contagious to those around them. Leaders set the tone – and the example.
Believes in equality among the parts of the whole business
Is there a difference in importance between those who work in the warehouse and those who work in the office? How about those who work in accounting and those who work in the mailroom? No, an innovative leader believes there is no difference in equality or importance in any part of a business. In fact, each of these parts is what helps the company function. Leaders aren’t afraid to step in and learn all aspects of a business – from the bottom to the top. Besides, without this knowledge, how can you see where change needs to take place?
Persuasive and assertive
Persuasiveness and assertiveness are key traits for an innovative leader. Because many people struggle with change, a leader has to prevent a new idea or strategy in a manner in which it can be embraced. By using these traits, other individuals in the company may more easily jump on board with a transformation implemented by the leader.
Bring it: Bringing innovation into the workplace
Innovative leaders assess the business innovation from all angles. From workflow and organization to production and delivery. No company is perfect – including yours. But, finding where the problems are is the first step to fixing them. Now that you know what an innovative leader looks like, it is time to start incorporating some of these characteristics into the way you do business. By taking on this role and learning to adopt some of these traits, you can bring innovation into the workplace.
To bring it, however, you need to first focus on one action: removing competition within.
To initially incorporate an innovative approach, you will likely have to do some work to change the mindset of the employees. It is incredibly common for there to be a superiority/inferiority, competition-filled attitude between those of different levels or areas within a company. To implement change with business innovation, you need everyone to be on board and collaborate. In fact, Forbes even states that collaboration should be a top priority of business leaders. That means you will have to come together as allies, rather than enemies.
But having an innovative leader and a collaborative workforce isn’t all you need. There are still a few more ingredients needed to reach a conversion.
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A business innovation recipe for growth and success
If you were to throw together all of the ingredients needed for the growth and success of a business – through business innovation – it would probably look something like this:
2 cups problem seeking
1 cup strategy
1 cup calculated risk
6 cups teamwork to help it rise
Stir all ingredients well using a motivated and innovative leader.
Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight – and it takes a collaborative effort to push forward. Not all risks will be worth it. Some may even have negative impacts. But, without business innovation – and an innovative leader – you may never progress.
So, keep what works, discard what doesn’t, and never stop trying to be the best.
Areas for innovated focus
Feeling motivated yet? If you are ready to put on your innovative leader hat and make some advancements in your company, you may be wondering – just where should I start?
These are three huge areas in which most companies fall short. Think about it — one small hiccup in a streamlined process can cause even more down the line, leading to chaos and decreased production.
Bring a bit of business innovation by effectively and efficiently monitoring the entire processes that take place in your company. What if you could see where too much time is being spent? Or how about where the organization is getting lost? If perfect workflow can lead to increased production, shouldn’t you have a way to monitor it?
An innovative leader will get in there and see where the issue is – and strategize ways to correct it. An innovative leader would also know that there is a tool to help uncover situations that need attention – and keep everything running smoothly.
An innovative leader would know about Runrun.it
Providing successful workflow management and Artificial Intelligence reports that can give you a true insight into the business, Runrun.it is the solution you have been searching for to innovate management.
Are you ready to take the next step as an innovative leader? Runrun.it is there to help with a 14-day free trial.