How to Innovate – Are You Planning Innovation?
“I’m not an Innovator; I’m an Innovate!” – Walt Disney ENDPARAM
What does it mean to’Innovate?’ As an entrepreneur and business owner, I’m often asked by clients, “What does it mean to’Innovate?’ In today’s world, the definition of ‘Innovation’ has become very narrow. Often companies or individuals are innovative in one area or two, but not innovating overall. For example, a plumber might be considered an innovator, because he builds great pipes but not innovation-inventing the water pressure washing machine. I believe the true meaning of innovation is when a person or business creates a new product or idea that makes the old one obsolete, or better, provides something new and better.
Consider for a moment all of the great new technologies that have been created since the advent of the personal computer and the internet. The internet, in particular, has created so much new business opportunities that we could talk for hours about all the great new business opportunities that have arisen due to the internet. Likewise, consider all of the great books, music, videos, etc., that have also been created since the invention of the personal computer. Now we’re going to include cell phones and other handheld electronics in this discussion as well. With all of these new technologies, what does it really mean to’Innovate?’
Many businesses, especially small or new businesses, believe that they must be innovating in order to stay competitive in their industry. While this is certainly true to an extent, it’s also important to realize that you can always ‘Innovate ‘and still not be fully ‘innovative.’ For instance, if a plumber builds a better water pipe than his competitors, he can’t be considered as being ‘innovative’ because he’s simply improved upon an already existing pipe. However, he has made the improvement possible by using new technologies, such as improved pipes, which would have cost him nothing to make, but provided him with a greater profit margin.
There are many different types of business model innovation, such as business model innovation, disruptive innovation, and incremental innovation. Business model innovation refers to the development of a new product or idea to replace an older version. It can sometimes be a risky strategy for new businesses, however, because they may fail to differentiate themselves from the existing competition before any progress is made. In terms of disruptive innovation, on the other hand, this refers to a sudden and large move towards a new market or concept. It can be caused by a new development in technology, often driven by a popular consumer product, or by a business idea. In terms of incremental innovations, this refers to small changes to an existing product or service, with the goal of improving the product or service and increasing its appeal to customers.
The bottom line is that every entrepreneur needs to determine what type of entrepreneur they want to be, and whether or not they can plan innovation in their business. If you can’t plan innovation, then you shouldn’t even try to get off the ground. Plan for innovation ahead of time, using a strategic business plan to help you define your product or service, your target market, and the costs and benefits of the new product or technology. Then, take those plans and execute them! When it comes to innovating, being able to plan ahead is just as important as having innovative ideas, so set aside some time today to do just that.