“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”
Entrepreneurship is at the very core of the economic recovery of most nations, particularly in the post-COVID era. The global economic environment is conducive to establishing and growing start-ups and new businesses. With the immense technological progress that is being made in recent times, business organisations are looking at offering innovative services and products. Creativity and innovation are, in fact, the driving forces behind successful businesses worldwide. Some top entrepreneurs have been able to reimagine their business models, processes, and offerings to lead their organisations through the pandemic.
Innovation and emerging businesses
As recently as a couple of decades ago, innovation was spoken of in the context of creating and developing newer products, particularly based on market research and data. In recent years, however, we have seen successful entrepreneurs reimagine the very context of their offerings. By implementing creative approaches to problem-solving, these business leaders have transformed the way the industry works and have tried to work toward improving the way we function. Let us take the example of Zerodha, one of India’s largest stock broking firms. By reimagining the trading and brokerage space, Nithin Kamath (CEO and Founder) came up with the innovative and attractive discount brokerage model that has made Zerodha the success it is today. With an innovative approach and the plethora of tech tools available, many small and medium enterprises have successfully taken on large, more established brands.
Approaches to innovation
Innovation is no longer a burst of creativity that prompts unexpected changes. The right approach to innovation must be inbuilt into the organisational philosophy. Innovation is the vision of the entrepreneur and the attitude of every employee. This comes from taking ownership of business processes and products. Some Indian Business Entrepreneurs, like Sanjiv Bajaj, the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv, encourage every employee of the organisation to think like a business owner. This has helped the traditional financial business transition into the digital era.
Not an individual endeavour
Creativity and innovation are not individual endeavours. There are a lot of smart ideas that you can source from people who are involved in and associated with your business. And nowadays, many innovative ideas can also be found on social media platforms. Customers, stakeholders, business owners from the industry, and even those across the globe can come up with some really great ideas for transforming your organisation and business processes. The key to sourcing these ideas is to listen and engage.
The matter of funding
One of the greatest challenges to growing the innovation quotient of your business is securing funding. While most businesses have a budget for research and development, innovation should be encouraged and implemented across verticals and departments. This means aligning funds for creative projects is vital to the business entrepreneur’s responsibilities. It also means departmental budgets must be flexible to accommodate innovations and creative endeavours. Holding contests online, inviting customers to interact and engage with the brand, and improving brand communication can bring funding and innovation.
Some of the top entrepreneurs of India are known for their inclusive approach. Larry Ellison, the founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, has been greatly responsible for the company’s resounding success. Part of this comes from his transparent communication, which encourages employees across the organisation to provide feedback on products and services. For example, specific departments may be responsible for the delivery of products or services, but others, such as marketing or customer service, may be better equipped to provide feedback. As a business leader, it is your responsibility to remove any barriers to clear and constructive criticism, which can be the basis of innovation. As we have seen over recent years, creativity, innovation, and transformation are the path ahead for most new business ideas. The survival and growth of your organisation may depend on how well you adopt these.
Innovation and transformation are the buzzwords to watch out for in the current economic scenario. Businesses that adopt a creative approach toward product and service delivery are likely to thrive, while those who are adverse to change may lose their position in the industry. As a business leader, it is essential that you make innovation part of the company culture. Finding the funding and encouraging feedback is part of your core responsibilities. Creativity and innovation can be the result of inspiration from all quarters. Social media is a great place to engage stakeholders and source innovative ideas.