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Why innovation is essential for ALL companies

 “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”

This quote from Jack Welsh describes very well the importance of always being attentive and alert to adapting rapidly to business changes. Resilience and the ability to change are the determining success factors!

Start the innovative process

But how? Can innovation and change simply be "enforced"? Is it enough to write "Please do one innovation" per year in the objectives of the executives? Certainly not! The ability to innovate is above all a question of company culture. 

A simple and very pragmatic step in this direction can be making innovation a topic and just to start talking about it. In a straightforward and uncomplicated manner. 

When is the right time? Besides the daily business? The answer is NOW! Just start doing it! Let’s be honest, there will never be time "left”. When there is no time now, there will be no time in two weeks, two months, or even two years. Start now! ;-)

What matters most in this context:

  • Welcome new ideas by your employees. Be aware that there are no "bad ideas" - only bad reactions!
  • Make sure that if inspiration suddenly arises, everyone knows what to do next. Who can I talk to? How can we further develop the idea? 
  • Work on a change of mindset: Even incomplete ideas or just a hint of a "cool" customer problem can be helpful. Design your company as a marketplace for "problem seeks solution". Embrace change and encourage ideas and initiative.

Even if these simple measures do not immediately produce five sellable innovations (which is indeed unlikely) - it definitely sets a process in motion. People will start talking about innovation more naturally after a while and develop an appropriate awareness and culture about it. There will a snowball effect: one person accidentally hears about it from another, he’ll get inspired and passes it on in turn, and then suddenly something new, cool, innovative emerges in this exchange of ideas.

How Directions 4 Partners fits into this?

Tip: Use the Directions EMEA Community Award to start the innovation process in your own company. Ask your team to ‘nominate’ ideas for both the technical and commercial award and start brainstorming from these. Keep in mind that these ideas can be about NEW and EXISTING things, methods or even processes. Most likely, good ideas are already there without even knowing. Take the opportunity of this award to set the above-mentioned process in motion. And again: start now! ;-) 

Nominate your most innovative initiative now!

Imaging rewarding your team by being on-stage at Directions EMEA 2021 in Milan? And let this initiative be the accelerator to give innovation extra focus inside your organization.


About the author

Thorsten Heid

Thorsten Heid

MD Comsol Unternehmenslösungen AG and member of Directions EMEA organizing committee