The Cambridge dictionary defines innovation as ‘a new idea or method’. Yet when many of us think about innovation we think of multimillion-dollar businesses that dominate their industry such as Apple, Google and Amazon. An innovative idea or business doesn’t necessarily have to be one that disrupts the market. Process streamlining, improved communication and new training methods are all innovative; if not to the market they are to your business.
Speak to your team
Give yourself a time restraint. What do you want to improve and by when? You don’t have to do this by yourself! Get your team together ask them where they feel improvements could be made. This is your starting point. Mindmap, as a team, different ways to resolve or improve the severity of the problem. Look into other sectors, they have a similar problem? What methods do they use?
Innovation does not need to involve technology in anyway shape or form. For example, you may decide to improve service quality by further training your team members. Team members could be trained using a methodology such as Lean Six Sigma. The training programme is used to encourage waste reduction including time, raw materials as well as money and/ or energy.
Why not ask clients?
You’ve discussed improvements with your team why not have the same discussion with your client? Your clients know what they want, they will see ‘issues’ you don’t. Sit down with your top 3 clients, not your favourite or the ones who pay you the most but cause you more hassle than it’s worth. Rather speak the clients you truly perceive as valuable. The key here is to make sure you start your discussion on a positive note, asking what they like about your product or service. After this then go on to ask for improvement ideas.
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