I’m not a betting man, but I know enough to know the difference between a 100-1 outsider and a dead cert. But business is somewhat different to horses, and by placing your investment on the right runner, returns in the region of 100-1 are often more down to how you use what you learn rather than lady luck – the outcome is often in your hands.
Over the last 20 years, we’ve worked with many businesses who have wanted to grow – and over this time, we’ve come to realise that give or take a few exceptions, the rules are the same for everyone. The secret is in tinkering the rules to fit the unique circumstances within your business. But what are these rules that lead us to success and such great returns?
The most fitting saying here takes us back to the days of Henry Ford, who said “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. This isn’t strictly true; nowadays, if you always do what you’ve always done, the likelihood is that you’ll get a little less than you’ve previously got. This is because your competition is increasing what they do, customers often fancy change, and trying to stay still usually means you’re actually moving backwards.
So, what we can establish straight away is to grow, you’ve got to be continually moving forward – preferably in a higher gear and at greater speed than your competitors. To achieve this, you need to be bringing new things into the business which lead to benefit – either revenue, profitability, productivity or one of the other key measurables – which is precisely how we define Innovation.
Yes, Innovation. That word that everyone loves to mis-use and connect with new products, use in the place or Research and Development (which is quite different) or think about whenever they see “Doc” from “Back to the Future”. Let’s get this straight (again) – Innovation is about growing your company by doing things differently. This may involve R&D and new products, but equally, it may involve developing your marketplace and approach, looking at business processes, or tying a few of these aspects together. THIS is where you need your rules.
We’ve learned through blood, sweat, tears and a hell of a lot of petrol that helping companies grow through Innovation uses the same rules time after time – and those rules revolve around 3 core aspects: Risk, Reward and Resources. Understand how to use these wisely, and you can turn your ideas into invoices with ease.
Still confused and curious? The secret to this is in what we’ve termed “The Inovaris Method”. Typically, other innovation providers typically come in to your business and help you develop a single product, or idea – that helps you today, but not tomorrow. The core component across all of your ideas is staring you in the face – your workforce. Their combined minds contain all of the problems, opportunities, solutions and benefits. Learn how to utilise this, and you’ve got an endless resource of business benefit waiting to be reaped.
The Inovaris Method trains a series of “Innovation Practitioners” within your business to run localised sessions to help draw ideas, knowledge and experience out of your workforce. It then trains an “Innovation Leader” to support the practitioners and act as the conduit between them and the Senior Management Team (SMT). The Innovation Leader also helps the SMT develop the corporate innovation strategy, make key decisions and assign resource – essentially developing a wider culture of innovation throughout the business.
We’ve proven this model, with great feedback. Last week, we were told that the Inovaris Method:
- is your best chance to build a team of people who can genuinely shoulder responsibility for growing the business
- prepares you to provide a continual cycle of impact and value
- is direct, practical and is the first course which has significant impact on the business and really makes a difference
We’re currently recruiting for new cohorts to start in September this year. We’d love to discuss how the course can help your business grow and we’ve got plenty of examples which we’re sure are relevant to you, no matter how unique your business is.
We weren’t joking about the 100-1 either. Give us a call – and we’ll show you how real that return on investment can really be.
About the author:
Richard Harrison is Director at Inovaris. Inovaris were recently awarded “Best Innovation Management Company – UK” by Corporate Vision magazine. For more information on their innovation training programmes and the “Implementing Innovation for Growth” programme, contact Richard via email@example.com.