As Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat”.
Innovation is one of the most frequently mentioned terms within business today. It’s exact meaning, however, can be open to many different interpretations. Put simply, innovation is taking an original concept and using it to solve a specified problem. In a business context, it is concerned with the development of a unique idea for a product or service that satisfies needs, creates value and brings about delight for customers. Being innovative means using information, imagination and initiative when deriving different values from resources and producing an end result that resonates new ways of thinking. Innovation challenges conventional notions of how things have been done before and can also share ideas across industries and geographic regions. Innovation is not simply thinking outside the box, but rather seeing so far past it that it can then be viewed from a refreshing perspective.
The evolution of human existence was brought about by our innate ability to come up with new ways to adapt to different environments. Within the last sixty years, innovation has become the catalyst for the development of once improbable ideas to become revolutionary inventions that are now essential items we cannot exist without. It is now the lifeblood of many start-up companies and has been ingrained within the corporate culture by many world-renowned CEOs.
It is this fact alone that highlights the invaluable role innovation can play within commercial practice. Due to increased demand and new requirements in products, many businesses seek to adopt innovative techniques to achieve strategic advantages over competitors.
Models on how innovation is nurtured
- Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas has nine building segments which include customer segments, customer relations, revenue streams and value prepositions. This model is essential since it provides a form of architecture for developing and creating value out of ideas. The philosophy or mindset in a Business Model Canvas is to think about the business intuitively and visually.
- Customer Development Model
The Customer Development Model is a business tool for innovation which is based on a four-step framework. It was designed to discover the needs of clients, to test the methods for converting and acquiring customers and build the right product to satisfy customers needs. This model tests vital assumptions that underpin the initial ideas about a product and the market it will operate in. The four steps are customer discovery, customer validation, customer creation and company building. Each phase offers opportunities to create assumptions and validate before going to the next step.
- Jobs-To-Be-Done Model
The philosophy of the Jobs-To-Be-Done model is that buyers purchase goods to get a “job done”. The theory advocates for innovators to gain insight into consumer needs and understanding the job customers want to be done. Innovators should not focus on the service or the product but on the problems or jobs consumers want to solve. This framework enables companies to deconstruct a task that clients are trying to get done mainly into specific process steps. This job map hence provides a structure which makes it possible to capture all the needs of the customer as well as identify the right opportunities for growth. The J.T.B.D model determines the customer’s goals and then plan the resources while innovating through simplifying this planning.
- Lean Startup Model
This model has three key actions: build, measure and learn. It advocates using rapid testing to quickly validate ideas, implement feedback and build again in continuous loops of improvement. The main concept of a Lean Startup is finding a gap in the market in such efficient ways both in terms of money and time spent. It is such amalgamation of various techniques which helps one’s new service or product get to the market faster. This model also allows validated learning potential and success.
- Design Sprint Model
The purpose of the Design Sprint Model is to create an innovation in five days to solve a problem. Creating products should be done in steps to ensure that it meets consumer needs. Innovation should put consumers at the heart of the process. A design sprint allows the team to achieve the goals and gain essential learning much quicker. This framework or process sparks innovation by encouraging such user-centred thinking and aligning employees under a common and shared vision.
At Connector, we move at the speed of innovation bringing ideas to life and making things happen, fast. We go the extra mile for our clients by uniting the strategic expertise of innovation consulting with the creative power of a studio to help people build brands, grow market share, enhance employee engagement and increase revenue.