Companies must innovate to retain talent and customers

EPIC Alan South giving lecture ()

Successful innovation should be an in-built part of your business strategy and the strategic vision, where you create an environment and lead in innovative thinking and creative problem solving.

Being innovative means setting aside the time to foster ideas. It also requires investment in people and resources. Often, your employees will be your best source for developing ideas for innovation. Everyone in the business has the potential to be creative. Anyone can innovate. Each person can have a different viewpoint or may come from a different background – this will also help the ideas flow in different directions. Even the smallest idea can be the seed that can start a fundamental shift.

As a starting point for innovation, new ideas are needed. These ideas will form the basis for new products, services or processes which will satisfy a need, be the result of an opportunity or to solve a problem. Ideas can be sourced from any number of areas including customers or a problem you may have encountered.

When searching for new ideas, consider the following:

  • Connect with your customers
  • Select the strategy for developing innovation
  • Update your business plan to allow for innovation to be a part of that process
  • Create a business culture for innovation

Having a responsive business strategy is important for adding value in your business. Often the most effective innovation comes from changing the way things are done. 

Alan South, founder of Ripplewood – one of the faculty on FIPP’s Executive Programme for Innovation and Change (EPIC) – believes an idea should only be considered an ‘innovation’ when it is able to make money…up until then; it is simply a good idea. 

Here are six ways of increasing profits:

  1. Increase price
  2. Reduce direct costs
  3. Create new products and services
  4. Increase productivity
  5. Reduce fixed costs
  6. Build human capital

Leading a company to think innovatively is hard. It takes discipline, dedication and a structured approach.

EPIC is a senior management course, designed by FIPP with Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and is taking place from 6-10 July 2015, in order to help media businesses transform and innovate. 

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