How To Leverage Innovation To Grow And Differentiate Your Business
The fastest-growing companies are innovation leaders. Our research reveals that innovation leaders grow at 2.6 times the industry average. This indicates that a tech-driven and sustainable innovation strategy is mission critical for firms to survive disruption and succeed in times of continual and rapid change. Tech executives who nurture a culture of innovation, adopt tech platforms instead of proprietary niche solutions, and embrace innovation as a team sport drive differentiation and growth.
Nurture A Culture Of Innovation
While successful innovation takes various forms, it must be repeatable, engrained in the organization’s culture, and regularly adapted like any other process. The quality of innovation increases by fostering strong collaborative management; a license to experiment; enthusiastic participation from employees, partners, and customers; sharing of ideas across divisions; diversity among employees; and enhancement of skill sets.
Firms with the most mature innovation practices often provide staff incentives that reward innovation — that “license to experiment,” as mentioned above. And they have customer feedback built into many of their processes, not just the innovation process.
Leverage Adaptive Tech Platforms
Forrester data shows that purchase influencers at firms that prioritize innovation say that having a better understanding of customer needs, innovating with emerging tech, and investing in adaptive technology platforms are among the key actions their firms are taking to improve their ability to innovate. These firms tap into technology platforms to accelerate the impact of innovation chains — layers of technology which work together to reduce costs, speed delivery, and enable rapid business change.
Innovation with emerging technologies thrives by leveraging the platforms, as they work from the physical layer, through technical infrastructure, and into the application layer where the breakthroughs occur. This adaptive technology approach creates the foundation for business reinvention, allowing the firm to rapidly deliver new value when opportunities present themselves. Specifically, they zero in on technologies that empower customers, partners, and employees to decide and act immediately.
Drive Innovation As A Team Sport
Innovation is not the sole responsibility of the CIO or corporate IT, but a team sport where line-of-business and function heads mutually inspire each other and jointly create new experiences with technology. Creativity and outside-in inspiration through emerging technologies must take a prominent spot on the C-suite agenda, and the traditional dominance of operational and tactical topics must decrease.
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Author Bernhard Schaffrik is principal analyst at Forrester Research. Read more from Forrester here.