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Innovation. What is it? How do you get it? How do you fold it into your business to be more competitive and successful?

At some point, just about every company talks about the need to be innovative, but how to get there is often hazy. Most experts in the field agree that the key to enhanced innovation is following tried and true principles.

One of the most important principles is developing an innovation strategy. And it starts with the question: Why are we doing this?

Some companies embark on an advanced innovation plan to grow their business with existing customers. Others hope to penetrate new customer accounts or enter new markets or just try something new.

An innovation strategy allows all stakeholders the opportunity to support the initiative and get on board with the changes that will be necessary to make it work.

Another principle is learning as a unit of progress. Successful innovation involves education, that is, learning where current processes fall short then learning how to do better. Eventually this should lead to learning new processes until they can be practiced as efficiently as the old ones. This is a more attainable goal than thinking of innovation as an active process of doing something new and different without reflecting on the past.

This principle also includes building adequate time for change management training to allow for a systematic reduction of risk while improving the long-term odds of success. With everyone involved on the same page, the chances for meaningful innovation are increased.

The ability to innovate starts with a change in mindset. This can’t be overemphasized. In other words, company stakeholders must develop a new way of thinking around the mantra Don’t believe everything you think. In order to build the self-efficacy and confidence to try new things at work (and in your life), it’s important to cultivate a mindset of innovation through awareness of your thinking.

Additionally, following the principle of being patient for long-term change but impatient for short-term results will also put you on course for innovation.

This one can be difficult, especially for leaders with a passionate vision of where they want the company to be. But in reality, taking the opportunity to celebrate small victories will allow the entire organization to enjoy the benefits of meaningful leadership support throughout the entire change process.

Want to learn more about innovation? Tonex offers Advanced Innovation Training, a 2-day Capstone-based training workshop where participants learn how to develop an innovation strategy that aligns with their organization’s goals.

Additionally, Tonex offers 120 different courses in a dozen categories in Leadership training.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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