Innovation refers to the application of new solutions to new or existing business circumstances. What sets a business apart from competition is born of innovation and differentiation is often the most impactful ingredient in marketplace success. Innovation starts with a vision of something new. Then ideas on how to make the vision a reality are recognized and considered with the objective of identifying the best alternative. Finally the idea is developed and refined, the implementation is planned and the new advance becomes part of the business. Following are steps to formulation and implementation of innovative solutions:
- Formulate a Vision Statement – Every business advance starts with a vision. Achieving exceptional results begins with stating that vision. Preferably a vision statement is a one sentence description of what is to be accomplished.
- Apply Ingenuity – New ways of doing things come from focusing on a specific aspect of business and imagining new approaches. Any possibility should be considered.
- Brainstorm – More than one person striving to come up with new ideas can often produce excellent results. The effort must be spontaneous and uninhibited.
- Collaborate – Working with others for intellectual purposes can come to a solid end result as each person’s contributions are evaluated real time. Ideas are molded by another’s perception of the desired end result.
- Incentivize – People who benefit from the fruits of innovation will contribute willingly. Of course investment and risk must be taken into consideration however ideas put to use should not go unrewarded.
- Develop the Idea – An innovative new idea must be well defined if it is to be successful. A clear detailed definition of the new process must be laid out in order for implementation to be successful.
- Plan the Implementation – Any modification to business processes should be planned precisely and communicated to all involved or affected. A well thought out plan can make the difference between success and failure when putting an innovative idea into practice.