Every startup’s goal is to achieve scalability and adapt to an enormous workload without losing revenue or performance.
But it is not every business that makes it big. Some don’t find the winning formula, unfortunately.
Most setups focus on identifying top innovators for their creativity to find solutions to novel problems.
Less attention is on the organizational patterns and culture. The result is often an organization struggling to grow and maintain a competitive advantage.
You see, an enterprise will struggle, even with the brightest innovators, if it does not have a culture of innovators.
Here are ways to scale your business through innovation.
1. Brainstorming and Implementation
There are pretty enormous differences between brainstorming on possible innovative projects and setting up an innovation ecosystem to support the scale.
Practical innovation management elements are mainly in the process as opposed to the ideation, a fact that may be alien to most business leaders.
You can be part of the brainstorming but may need to step back during the innovation process.
Determine if your input is necessary for the innovation process, and work towards an autonomous system so that you can focus on other things.
Step back and have a better sense of direction for the organization.
2. Redefine the Internal Processes
As the enterprise grows, the internal dynamics are also going to change. Don’t limit your growth by crutching at the aging process you were using to get things done.
For example, maybe there was no need for an internal employee hierarchy because the company was small. Everyone could come to you directly. This kind of process will be untenable as the enterprise scales, and you’ll need to rethink it.
Other internal processes will need an overhaul, such as the manufacturing process and the technologies used. As the enterprise goes big, it is going to strain every aspect of the business.
Plan ahead and change the processes instead of scrambling to fine-tune the ineffective and old models when your back is against the wall.
3. Balance the Innovation Portfolios
In a dynamic global marketplace, innovation is one of the essential elements to achieve a competitive advantage.
However, you need to define your innovation ambition to successfully invest in the most appropriate activities.
Which skills and knowledge should you acquire, and which projects should you prioritize?
Pick the innovation projects based on the customer value proposition and establish a balanced innovation portfolio.
Balancing your portfolio, which is about balancing risk and return, sustains the business through a period of disruptive volatility in the market.
The company creates innovations while also maintaining the currently profitable ventures for a consistent competitive advantage.
4. Learn from Mistakes
Mistakes are the primary fuel for some of the most disruptive solutions in the industry.
An innovative business owner recognizes and appreciates this fact. They are not afraid to make mistakes.
Establish a supportive corporate environment where workers are not afraid to share ideas. It is from these shared ideas where novel solutions come from.
Of course, not every idea will work, but you will grow your knowledge pool and build from it.
5. Creating Innovation Opportunities
The innovation process is not only about ideation or coming up with new ideas out of thin air. It can be about acquiring new skills or opportunities from another organization or collaborating with startups or partners.
But how do you come up with disruptive solutions?
Innovation can come from within the enterprise through innovation centers or hubs. But it is not many businesses that can build from the inside. It is usually easier to bring innovation from outside through the acquisition of leading innovators.
Another alternative route is partnering with technology and service businesses to create innovative solutions.
You can also invest in organizations that may benefit your growth or with the potential to become innovation partners.
6. Understand the Different States of Disruption
The four states of disruption will help you better understand your industry and identify the opportunities. This tool helps you quantify the current level of disruption and vulnerability to disruptions in the future.
You can use the matrix or innovation consulting to tell where the industry is heading and use this information for strategic planning.
The first state of disruption is transforming the core. Don’t preserve the legacy business, but reinvent it. Conduct extensive experiments and ensure to maintain cost leadership within the core.
However, this is not the stage for the big steps, not just yet.
With everything in place, the speed is going to pick up. Scaling up the new is the next state in line, and it is where you prepare for future innovations. In the meantime, address the productivity challenges.
Growing the core where you embrace strategies that keep the enterprise innovating is the third stage in the disruption matrix. Focus and improve on what the organization does best.
Finally, pivot wisely. It is the only way that your business survives the volatility brought about by a significant amount of disruption. Change the direction or be swept away.
7. Automation to Drive Innovation
Inefficiencies tend to grow exponentially as the business takes an upward trajectory. Take a step back and point areas that need automation and improvement, and then devote resources and time to them.
Machine learning and other types of automation can significantly help with innovation management. You don’t always have to do the work by yourself, while automation makes it more efficient, faster, and effective. It will obviously take some time, but automation finally pays for itself in the long run.
How far are the current technology trends, and how is your corporate ecosystem fairing?
Your innovation community can do with a massive data and knowledge base to discover technologies, trends and assess projects.
The strategy of scaling your business through innovation ensures a successful process.
In the contemporary global markets, innovation is the card under your sleeves to ensure a competitive and sustainable advantage in the long run.
Establish a workplace culture where innovation gets rewarded and encourage sharing of ideas.