Big companies, secure in their products and processes, often operate an incorrect definition of innovation as a disruption in their established and successful routine. In the business world, nothing could be truly innovative until it sells, that is -– becomes commercializable. Understanding an innovation as “something adding to or subtracting from something in order to benefit someone,” an expert definition, would be a significant, financially beneficial improvement to old corporate strategies.
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Companies that offer established, popular products or services, may see new technologies, such as viral marketing or drone delivery, as an unnecessary risk-taking. These corporations often do not account for a change in demographics and the fast-paced business environment. In thinking like venture capitalists, they are wary of disrupting an established business model. Moreover, quite often a CEO’s future in the company depends on the success of certain products or services, so they are scared to relinquish that, tried and tested, what made them successful. Corporate culture dictates caution.
Corporate hierarchy often leads to ignoring of an employee creative input and feedback, whether by excessively long chains of command when suggestions are lost on the way up or by being uninterested in systematizing collection of ideas on improvement, even anonymous ones. An insistence that corporate oversight hampers creativity has been disproved, and nowadays tech startups use the brainstorming power of their employees to their great success. Even lack of monetary reimbursement in the form of bonuses or other perks does not stop the flow of ideas when employers make an effort to listen and implement.
Other times, when a company implements a system of incentives for innovations, the quality of suggestions goes down as the quantity goes up. For best management of company-dedicated resources, one must not only suggest a possible improvement, but a way to implement it as well. Thus, a safety net against misuse of company time and resources is created, the employee feels more responsible for his overall output, and the company saves funds it would have had to give to outside consultants as payment.
While the need for innovation may be understood, an absence of specifically allocated to research and testing teams, or financing, results in an unsatisfactory output. A testing invariably needs certain conditions so that the results could be trusted. Other common missteps include underestimating customer demands and not measuring customer awareness. Thus, fear of failure, both of product and own career that corporate managers often have, undermines the trial even before it is set to start.
Large-scale corporations are often, even more, wary of the financial risks. The period the product is in development is also significant, concerning the subject of innovations, as an automobile company will have a longer break between new models than a software one. Larger companies, as well, need to learn that testing and implementing or discarding, based on the results, is done on a small scale. There is no need for tens of thousands of prototypes in testing a risky initiative, such as a self-driving electric car.
When a company makes it its mission to lead, and employees are accordingly trained, new incentives abound. Tech corporations, such as Apple and Google, leading in the field. One must, of course, mind the market demands and be aware of emerging technologies, least one suffers the same fate as the dotcom millionaires.