3 ways to raise innovation within your small business
20th October 2015
Organisations and businesses in Australia have been hotly discussing the need to harness and adapt innovation, especially following a recent report from Word Economic Forum (WEF).
Despite rising one place to 21st in terms of global competitiveness, Australia is still lagging behind when it comes to innovation. For small businesses, this is an important issue to address, as inventive processes and products are a key way to build a competitive advantage within their markets.
With this in mind, how can you fully utilise your resources to increase innovation?
Optimise your workplace culture
SMEs must actively structure its environment to allow for openness and dynamic changes.
In it's Culturing Success report, Microsoft highlighted three different types of business profiles when it comes to innovation: leaders, cruisers and laggards. Typically, leaders in innovation were more likely to encounter revenue growth, business efficiency, employee satisfaction and other such benefits.
In order for an SME to become a leader in its industry, Microsoft stated that it must actively structure its environment to allow for openness and dynamic changes. This includes a re-think of the communication flows as well as the physical space.
According to NAB's business innovation survey, the three most important cultural aspects that firms identified were:
- a strong knowledge of the consumer market
- the ability to reflect and learn from oversights
- a high level of energy and drive.
For the former factor, optimising feedback through customer relationship management software is an effective way to develop an in-depth knowledge of your chosen market. Combined with better internal processes, this can help improve a firm's offering and lead to developments which directly address customer problems.
Harness the power of your workers
Australia is not short on capable employees when it comes to creativity. The country topped the 2015 Global Creativity Index from the Martin Prosperity Institute, with a strong lead in the area of talent. This implies that we have a strong level of education and a large number of people trained in creative professions. This level of invention and vision can be a huge asset to your company.
Using measures such as business management software can help small firms make the most of their human capital. Allowing employees to work where they can best use their skills will give way to better quality processes and methods.
Innovations in technology are some of the most rapid in the world, and adopting measures into your company is taking increasingly less effort to effectively implement.
Technology can give businesses clear insights into its operations, allowing firms to identify where the weak points are in the value chain. Once a business discovers these, it can make better decisions surrounding R&D investment and areas to focus other efforts.
Through constant monitoring and adaptation, firms can shake up traditional business methods and reap the many benefits that come with an innovative mindset.
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