INNOVATIVE INSTINCTS OR ESTABLISHED GUIDELINES: WHICH IS MORE BENEFICIAL IN BUSINESS?

Creativity has never been more essential as it is now in this hyper-competitive global economy. No more considered as a luxury but a necessity, creativity is a must have for every business mind. The excitement of starting a business venture soon fades away when the hard work begins to reel in. Soon enough, newbies in the entrepreneurial world realise that while it is one thing to start a business, it is a totally different ball game to successfully keep it afloat. This may seem to overwhelm a lot of start-up owners. What keeps them going at this stage is the understanding that they need new skills while consistently honing the old ones and also need to find out the focus areas of their business that can bring about sustainable growth over a long stretch of time. One of the key strategies behind this is INNOVATION.

Innovation is the sweet sauce that keeps every business in high demand.

More often than not, people think they are not innovators. Some entrepreneurs assume innovation to exclusively be about products, services, technology and not seeing themselves as useful in any of these regards, they stick to the “normals” of the business while they tend to leave the innovation to the “science geeks”. How wrong! Innovation is required on all fronts in business. When you establish your business in a saturated niche and use the same methods as everyone else, you get the same results as others. In business, you are meant to stand out and not blend in with the populous crowd of competitors. Innovation is the platform to catapult your business to higher grounds. A good example of this is Apple’s Success which is not contingent on new products alone but also strongly supported by innovative approaches to packaging, retail sales, customer access, and partner agreements. The growth of the Toyota company has innovations in different areas such as manufacturing, inventory control, and management systems as it has from new automobiles.

Sadly, people rarely discover their innovative ability except when pushed to it through maybe a given task or the nature of their jobs. Stringent employers always want their staffs to follow the procedures book with established guidelines. But how has this helped the business? People in the research, product development, marketing departments of organizations often find their strength in the area of innovation because their jobs pushed them to discover it. Unfortunately, not all employers encourage their employees to find out their strength in this field. When people come up with ideas to help the company in some way, the ideas are either pushed to the side, not acknowledged or not carried out.

As an entrepreneur, what is your vision for your business? Do you desire that your business keep going in circles because you always repeat same old methods or styles or do you want it to grow, branch out and turn into an empire?

Fact remains that lack of innovative and fresh ideas means stagnancy for any business venture. In my opinion, while it is often good to follow rules and established guidelines, some flexibility should be allowed especially in business. The rulebook was created by someone to work for a specific time. While the basic tenets and principles of business success remain the same, there can be room for more adaptability. The reason for this is that the business world moves with the trending times. To stay relevant, you have to move with the trends. Established guidelines often keep you confined and limits your ability to think outside the box. You are hindered from becoming a creator or innovator but instead, you stay tagged as a “lover of creations made by others”.

Rulebooks that worked in the 19th century do not hold in them the 1,2,3……. list of tricks on how to succeed in business in the 21st century. You can only grow in business if you allow your creative mind to be free. Creativity is the ignition key needed to spur your imagination to life. With an active imagination, you can easily see the big picture for your business and the growth patterns it should follow to make it a huge success.

To make it big in the business world, build a culture where all your employees are encouraged and empowered to innovate in whatever area – goods, services, products or even processes as against depending on a selected few to come up with innovative ideas. This empowers your staffs or employees to want to give their utmost best to your business because you are grooming them in a field that would benefit them for the rest of their lives. The outcome of this guarantees not only a greater influx of customers to your business but also creates better margins, stickier customer relationships and stronger partnerships with other companies or organisations.

You can’t be everything in your business. Leverage on the talents, brains and creative minds of your staffs, any one of whom might come up with that groundbreaking idea.

PHOTO SOURCE: IPWATCHDOG.COM

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