4 Strategies to Inspire Customer-driven Innovation
In our ever-changing world, there is naturally a lot of talk about innovation and the need to innovate to stay relevant, or even to stay alive. There is less said about how to actually do it. Below are four proven and practical strategies (plus one hidden bonus strategy) to drive continuous innovation that you can apply inside your company. We’ll get to those in a minute.
An innovation mindset really starts at the core of your company. Either you really care about it or you don’t. You can’t fake it for very long. One way to get your entire organization focused on innovation is to make it one of your core values. In my experience, core values are adopted more when using plain and simple language to make them accessible and understandable by every single person in your company. Because innovation can and should happen at every level of your organization.
Many companies think that it is only the responsibility of the senior executive team, and maybe the software development team, to innovate. They think that innovation is so strategic that it can only be trusted to a chosen few. I believe that every person of our team can find a better way to do what that team or individual is doing. Often the best ideas come from the front lines, from the people who actually interact with customers and partners.
And innovation is not always related to technology―it can be in any aspect of your business from how you market, to what you sell, to how you sell and deliver what you do, to how you bill and collect, to how you communicate, and to how the tools you provide your customers to manage the whole thing. In truth, innovation should permeate any and every way we can deliver value to customers or streamline the way we do it.
Henrik Johansson is the CEO and co-founder of Boundless, an Austin-based Top 50 Distributor. Under his leadership, Boundless has developed the industry’s only platform specifically built for managing branded merchandise on the enterprise level. Prior to Boundless, Henrik was the president of Everdaywealth, an online financial services company and also the founder/president of Creditland, an online lending marketplace.