Open Your Eyes (And Ears) To Innovation!

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UK businesses are lacking an innovative focus, and it’s all down to the complacency of the leadership! That’s according to a new report by ?What if! that suggests that 72% of leaders acknowledge their business relies on fading revenue streams and that 28% believe that their current business model will no longer work by 2017!

The report called Eyes Wide Shut, highlights some of the key blockages to innovation identified by UK business leaders and  these are;

  • 57% say their management team is failing to lead effectively for innovation
  • 60% believe that senior managers do not understand their customers
  • 68% say they are built to operate not innovate and are focused on delivering efficiencies rather than growth
  • 58% believe their teams have no problem coming up with ideas, but 62% claim it is almost impossible to gain support to test and develop these new concepts
  • 59% say bureaucracy stops innovative ideas before they reach fruition while silos also play their part.
  • 53% believe they are missing out on innovation opportunities because employees cannot see the bigger picture

These statistics certainly reinforce our findings (see here for the 10 common barriers to maximising innovation) and suggest that there’s some work to be done!

Our definition of innovation is ‘the successful exploitation of new ideas’ and it’s Characteristic #7 of 3D Businesses and in these forward thinking, innovative businesses… it’s all about…

- Leadership!

Winning organisations ensure that innovation is an integral part of the way they do business! They have a clear vision and this is driven by the leaders – they create time to think and work strategically, they get ‘innovation’ on the agenda and thy encourage and support their people to do the same!

- Systems and Processes!

They establish simple processes to generate ideas and suggestions from customers, their people and their support networks. They might not all create ’20% time’ like Google who ensure that all their employees spend at least 20% of their time on non core activities, but they establish simple processes that ensure that ideas are generated, and suggestions for improvement are made. See here how Tim Cook of Apple does it!

- Creating The Climate!

This is about engaging people to get involved and contribute. It’s also about allowing, encouraging, even pushing people to ‘fish in different ponds’ - that means creating time to get out of the ‘day to day’, out of their own teams and departments and their ‘comfort zones’! It’s also about ‘championing their champions’ – rewarding and recognising those that get involved and contribute! Click here to see how winning leaders do this!

- Taking Action!

Winners take action, not notes! In innovation driven businesses, time, effort and resources are put into making things happen and that this is monitored and measured – it is certainly not left to chance!

So, how does your business measure up?
Why not assess yourself against these 4 ingredients via our online 3D Diagnostic Tool. Simply sign in and use the password ahc#7InnovatiON to get access.
You’ll see 20 questions and once you’ve assessed your business, we’ll send you a simple diagnostic report to your inbox to help you identify what you need to do next!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.

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