As the saying goes, the only constant in life changes, and this is especially true in the tech industry. Technology is constantly evolving. And figuring out what those changes should be and making them happen is critical for tech companies. It represents your best chance of thriving and growing, as well as assisting you in keeping innovation a top priority.
While bringing a product’s first version to market is exciting, it is not the end of the work. It is only at this point that the real work begins, in determining how a product can be improved and planning the next steps.
As important as innovation is to growth and change, it must be nurtured, cultivated, and encouraged in your employees. If your company is attempting to make innovation more central to everything it does, here are some tips for inspiring innovation in your organization.
1. Make time for unstructured, creative thinking
It can be difficult to be innovative on the spur of the moment. It is critical to have a specific time and place where innovation is encouraged.
I recommend setting aside time once a month to hold a session solely dedicated to idea generation. You don’t have to go to a different location to do something. However, it is still preferable if it has a “retreat” feel to it, and is as free-flowing and freeform as possible.
Make certain that someone is taking notes on all of the ideas. Having it visible to everyone on a whiteboard allows one idea to springboard to others.
Also, make sure you have a facilitator who can keep the session’s energy high. It is critical to ask the right questions and follow-up questions.
2. Don’t dismiss new ideas right away
Your innovation idea sessions should function as brainstorming sessions. Nothing is off-limits, and nothing is too far-fetched to consider.
Of course, not everything you come up with can be implemented. However, these sessions should be about anything you can think of rather than what is the most rational and logical way to make a change.
Take, for example, vertical farms. This trend toward indoor, controlled-environment agriculture, which was conceived in the 1970s, became possible, according to the New York Times, because LED light prices fell nearly 95 percent between 2008 and 2015. Even though these farms will face additional challenges that will necessitate more innovation, that one piece of the puzzle was enough to potentially change the future of food.
Coming up with a new idea that appears outlandish or unattainable can actually lead to doable and inspired ideas. If you come across an idea that fits this description, you can let it simmer for a while. Discuss all of the options that arise as a result of this, as well as any opportunities that may arise.
Have a follow-up meeting after everyone has had a chance to digest what you’ve come up with in the initial meeting. It may lead you to a new idea that becomes your next big thing, and it will help you keep innovation as a top priority.
3. Be unafraid of failure
The fear of failure is palpable and palpable. It may lead some businesses to make decisions that are safe, predictable, and meet the needs of their core customers.
They do not, however, allow those businesses to expand their wings and inspire new people. When you risk failure, it’s usually because you’re taking a risk and trying something new, pushing you into uncharted territory with an uncertain outcome.
However, where failure can lurk in the shadows is also where opportunity awaits.
You can, of course, reduce your chances of failure by doing your homework ahead of time. You don’t have to venture into whatever risky territory you believe your innovation will take you.
And what appears to be failure may not be — for example, a product you envisioned to do one thing but isn’t being adopted for that purpose may have some other application that proves to be a worthy innovation over time.
4. Bring in fresh perspectives
You may believe that your ideas only work within the confines of your own company. However, part of the fear of failure stems from not knowing how that technology will perform in practice. So, why not bring the real world to you as you strive to keep innovation at the forefront of your priorities?
When you bring in new people — customers and potential customers who aren’t yet familiar with your products or the innovations you’re bringing to those products — you have the chance to learn things you wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Invite people to test your products. This can assist you in identifying areas for improvement. You can evaluate your product’s functionality, UX and design features, or simply other uses for the product that you haven’t yet thought of.
According to a recent Readwrite article, the adage “you only get one chance to make a first impression” is true. “When a person installs an app,” the article says, “they will likely determine whether they want to keep the app or uninstall it after the first use only.” As a result, the app has only one chance of remaining in the user’s app list.”
The majority of people use 10-30 apps on their phones. However, there is clearly a lot of competition to keep people’s phones.
Speed, onboarding, and the app’s responsiveness to gestures are all factors in whether a customer keeps an app on their phone. If you’re launching a new app, the new users who are trying out your innovations can assist you with those factors.
5. Consistently solicit customer feedback
However, in order to keep innovation as a top priority, information gathering should not end with the product’s release.
The way people use what you’ve created can inform and inspire future innovations. You can highlight what they’re discovering and learning about it.
Customer feedback will not only help you gauge how satisfied customers are with what you’ve created, but it will also help you determine what next innovations they’re looking for, transforming the process into a meaningful dialogue in which you’re building a relationship with your customers over time.
Maintain Your Focus: Innovation
At a tech company, it’s easy to relax the reins on innovation and coast for a while.
A tech company that isn’t focused on innovation, on the other hand, will quickly fall behind in today’s fast-paced tech-focused world. Implement some of these suggestions, and your company will make a concerted effort to remain innovative. It will be easier to remain competitive and prioritize innovation.
Learn more from technology and read From the Ground Up: How to Start a Successful Tech Company.