Innovation - the road to sustainability

Ideally an innovative spirit must be built into a Company's DNA. This will lead to aggressive and consistent  business growth, job creation and even ensures that the business is sustainable for many more years into the decades ahead. The Company will definitely be the envy of many competitors.

The word "Product Innovation" is often tossed around and many understand that "Product innovation is the lifeblood of company growth" BUT how is this been translated into a working plan? Is there an innovative mentality, process and culture built into the work team? If not, why not? If yes, has it stalled?

If you do not know how to proceed, get professional help for your Team. Teach and train. Drive the culture beginning with the top management down to the floor operators. Build this into the Company's DNA!

As a starter, there are a few basic pointers that I would like to share:

1) Visit trade shows/exhibitions/seminars/read trade magazines: Many overlooked that there are many rich ideas out there. Make a point to visit at least one big global trade show a year.

2) Know your customers: Walk the street. "Wear-out" the soles of your shoes. Meet your customers. Spend time with existing and prospective customers. Ask questions. Listen to them. Hear them. Any inputs, positive or negative, will be an opportunity to build a better and creative business.

3) Team Empowerment: With empowerment, there is an atmosphere and spirit of challenge without any fear of "failure" or "risk" as these would be inherent in the daily business processes. The Team would be innovative, creative and willing to bring any seemingly "wild or crazy" ideas, concepts, proposals to the table for discussion, experimentation and development.

4) Office & Reward Performance Environment: It must be conducive and with relevant tools and facilities available and feely accessible. There must also be a recognition and reward process in place.

5) Roll out the Product with speed: Once the product is  tested and ready, roll it out to the market speedily. Your competitors are not going to wait for you as they have their products as well. Be open for feedback from customers. Reviewing and rework the product with any input received quickly. This will keep you ahead of competition. Change when change is necessary. Keep an open mind.

Finally ... you will definitely see business transformation with growth acceleration ...

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