Innovate or fall behind

Big businesses have acknowledged the importance of innovation. However, in today’s day and age, it is the entrepreneurs and small business that are redefining the way the industry works.

Alistair Cox, Hays plc CEO says recruiting innovative staff is the key in bringing big business back to the position of industry innovators and leaders rather than followers.

Alistair says, “A fundamental element of true corporate innovation involves unlocking the entrepreneurial leadership gene in your wider workforce.” About the lack of innovation, he adds, “These programmes are often secluded in one corner of the business, lack leadership or authority from board level and rather than spark a culture of innovation, simply limp along and then flicker out and die over time. Innovation is not an immediate asset to add to your company toolkit or balance sheet, something you can decide to invest in and predict a return on investment from. True innovation is also the close relation of disruption, whether that’s disrupting how we do things or whether it’s more fundamental than that and challenges why our business even exists. Perseverance is a key attribute here and one of the facets often attributed to an entrepreneur is their ability to bounce back from failure, learn from it and then try again in a different way. Yet often in a corporate world, there is little appetite for failure and unsuccessful ventures can easily be criticized as a distraction and a waste of time and money, particularly when the rest of the organization is working so hard to create that money in the first place.”

How can innovation be achieved?

·      A set of expectations- Making thing clear is what is expected. Innovation shouldn’t be avoided and given a bad name. It is important to understand that innovation doesn’t always mean big life changing products.

·      Start small- If you expect your innovation to be life-changing new service, product or business, you may end up disappointed. Innovation doesn’t need to entirely disrupt your business model. Some of the most effective innovations have been slight tweaks and modifications in new business development procedures.

·      A supportive culture- Getting most out of your business in terms of unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit is a business, lies in giving staff the freedom to cultivate ideas.

A corporate often has far more resources to tackle issues than those of new start-ups that are trying to cope with fundraising, recruitment, tech development, marketing and other spheres that go into establishing a new company. Business and global relations are now entering significantly uncertain times and many businesses are facing a do-or-die situations in which those who don’t adapt to changing times will not only lag behind, but find themselves out of the race altogether.

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