CIO

4 Ways That ‘Little’ Innovations Are Critical to Your Business

Innovation is what differentiates one company from the next. Perhaps your company will pursue the mission of creating a product to end world hunger, or maybe you will discover the answer to preventing dust. Whatever your vision, innovation is a vital aspect of a company’s investment–even the little ones that do not solve huge problems. In an article for strategy+business, Andrew Hargadon shares four reasons why little innovation is a great thing:

  1. Innovation is a “placeholder.”
  2. Innovation provides opportunities to test.
  3. Innovation helps to build trust.
  4. Innovation is investing in the future.

Fringe Benefits

When a new product comes to the market, it is common for a business to hold back to see if the product will actually do well, but Hargadon cautions that doing so could be a mistake. Your company can launch a similar product as a “placeholder” to help keep your customers engaged. As time passes and you see how the product does in the market, you can determine how to better refine it.

Innovation projects are a great, safe places to test out new ideas, technologies, or even talent. Hargadon explains, “The interdisciplinary nature of developing and launching a smaller-scale project, and the reality of its outcome, can plainly show how a product or service is likely to do on the Broadway stage of your market, but with a community-theater budget.” Pixar is a great example of this, because before their big successes they made some short films to test out the waters.

For innovation to be successful there must be trust throughout the entire company. On the flip side, sharing experiences and working on the same innovation projects can help to build camaraderie between coworkers faster than a mere conversation over lunch.

If you and your company want to be sustainable for the long run, innovation is the way to go, but it will take time. Nothing happens overnight, and teams must be allowed to work on innovative projects without expectation of an immediate return. Sometimes it is the smaller ideas that can transform a company, or at least make the company stand out.

You can read the original article here: http://www.strategy-business.com/blog/Bad-Innovation-Is-Just-What-Your-Company-Needs

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