Innovation in business doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make great leaps forward. Sometimes little steps can be just as transformative.
Innovation doesn’t necessarily have to involve massive change programmes and unsustainable levels of activity. Not every business needs a revolution.
Your business doesn’t necessarily need to be the next Google. What if you introduce a number of smaller innovations over a 12-18 month period that makes it easier for your customers to buy from you? Perhaps you could create a faster and more efficient way of getting your product to your customer.
Maybe you can learn from other industries in order to apply new processes that are innovative for your particular industry. For example – if delivering your products or services directly to your customer, any time of the day is unheard of in your particular industry, you and your firm could be the “innovator” in your sector of the market, by being the first firm to offer this type of service.
Innovation doesn’t necessary have to involve technology. You could improve the quality of your service offering by investing in training and developing your people. Perhaps you could be the first firm in your particular market to provide Lean Six Sigma training to your staff. This training could equip your people with a mindset to find better, more efficient ways of doing things in your business. This would have the effective of reducing waste (whether that is time, raw materials, energy or money). In addition it could deliver efficiencies to your customers in terms of reduced lead times, etc.
The key to driving innovation in your business is to step back, look at your firm in the context of your particular industry and consider if there is a better way of doing certain things. It also helps to talk to some of your customers. They will tend to be pretty quick to tell you what they want and what would make them buy from you again, rather than from a competitor.
If not familiar with ‘Lean Six’ the following helps define the system Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste  and reducing variation. It combines lean manufacturing/lean enterprise and Six Sigma to eliminate the eight kinds of waste:
- Non-Utilized Talent
- Lean six sigma not only reduces process defects and waste, but also provides a framework for overall organizational culture change.