Innovation: an investment or a high price to pay?

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Innovation, an investment or a high price to pay? How a company’s budget is spent and what positive ROI brings back? How can I innovate my business? Generation Z rising and entering the workplace? How can this generation innovate my business? Gig economy?

The world is changing rapidly. Everything is turning innovative, digital, eco-friendly and virtual. For example, the gig economy. We are becoming more global thinkers as we have access to unlimited sources. Businesses are on the need for innovation and employees are working hard to understand new customer needs. But is not only about what customers need, but also about what a company needs, to achieve success.

In this blog, we share our knowledge of what we have come with by identifying how companies are struggling to innovate, and if it’s a high price to pay or an investment. 

Welcome to 2021! A lot has happened in the last few years. For example, technology has become part of our daily life, social media is stronger than ever, and ofcourse the impact of COVID-19. Everybody is speaking about a new rising generation that is entering into the workplace. They call them Gen Z’ers. Also, an influencer from this generation is switching minds, by making a huge impact to change mindsets regarding global warming. Yes, we are talking about Greta Thunberg!

Technology is no longer viewed as a way to keep up with trends and competitors, but as a key driver of innovation. So the question is:

Is innovation an investment or a high price to pay?

Companies have been spending large amounts of budget on their internal departments. The main aim is to discover innovation within their products or services. However, it is not about how much money a company spends, but how the money is spent and what positive ROI brings back. On the other side, we have noticed some companies that aren’t investing their budget in innovation or in reinventing themselves to become future-proof. This brings several challenges within the company. Without innovation, business tends to fail and eventually to go out of business.

Companies are in need of change and leaders also need to change and innovate on new working ways to find new solutions, face challenges, welcome a new rising generation, find new methods, knowledge and skills to scale and grow. There has to be a connection between innovation strategy and the company’s overall business strategy. After all, owners and CEOs are not just investing in innovation for the fun of it. The ultimate goal of their investments is to sustain and grow their companies over the long term, achieve goals and become future-proof.

Innovation efforts

According to the PwC report, 54% of the executives struggle to align innovation strategy with business strategy, 61% are embracing open innovation to generate new ideas, and 72% said they’re not out-innovating their competitors. 

The majority of respondents think that bringing more parties into the innovation sandbox is a smart idea. But, how do you find and involve more parties? A possible option could be through the gig economy, other option is through the new generation (Gen Z) or finding partners who can contribute to turning your company future-proof. 

How can you start preparing your business?

#1 Involve management and colleagues in ideation

By breaking with your company’s traditional decision-making process, you bring managers together and create teams to create new markets, skills, ideas and suggestions. Discover new techniques that can help tackle unfamiliar projects or challenges and involve the whole team in the innovation process. For example, organise a workshop and get creative.

#2 Ensure explicit ownership by management

After a list of innovative ideas has been drawn up, this usually remains with the CEO. As a manager or director, you yourself can be the driving force behind the innovation. So why wait until your CEO approves it? If you don’t lead the leader, who will? Innovation is also a leadership practice! In addition, an explicit owner ensures that employees are more likely to feel supported in the innovation initiative

Final thoughts

Innovation is not a high price to pay, it is an investment and a growth opportunity. You could think that innovation can be risky or that can cost one’s job if managed poorly. Although, most of the time brings many positive outcomes. 

We can’t predict which changes the new decade will bring and how we would have to innovate and reinvent our business models. But we can positively prepare our business to start investing in innovation practices, the gig economy and Gen Z’ers, who are already changing outdated methods to help companies become more future-proof. – Stefan Hoogenboom.

Nowadays, there are several tech & software tools, platforms and many other practices that will bring great results to the company. But we come again on telling you that definitely, innovation is an investment that will bring positive benefits to your company. Does your organisation have all it needs to undertake action now? We accelerate companies that want to stay ahead. Use the quick scan to discover the possibilities for your questions free of charge.

Sources: Forbes,  Business.com, Emmerce