Innovación: la ruta hacia el dorado empresarial
11 de February de 2021
11 de February de 2021
Reinventing itself in order to maintain a steady growth is probably the ultimate goal of a company and the ideas and processes that will take us closer to that goal will stem from innovation.
Carrying out effective innovation processes in a company can seem like a troublesome journey. As if it wasn’t already hard enough finding the creativity to carry it out, it must then be combined with viable and tangible action plans that translate into added value. However, a company’s work must aim towards a common destination: progress. That’s why each and every member of a company must pull together to make this task easier.
Effectively managing innovation in a company is crucial. That’s why Ana Viñals — EAE’s Innovation and Design Thinking Professor and Coach at Siakara—, alongside three industry experts, gave a talk that was centred around this topic. During the conference, different points of views were presented to explain how, in companies, the future must always be part of the present strategies in order to build a wheel in which past experiences help the cycle to have an upward trend at all times.
The question is: What should we do in order to correctly carry out innovation processes in our company? It may seem like an obvious thing, but it’s fundamental when it comes to optimising the company’s resources. Diana Guerrero, CEO of Cenisoft in Colombia, points out that only 30% of businesses carry out innovation processes successfully. The key is to have a broad knowledge of the market, but also understanding your client, knowing how to adapt your product and having a team of professionals that are specialised in carrying out innovation processes..
As for Manuel Enciso, Sales and Market Manager at Digital Ware, Colombia, he says that the reason that one innovates “is to develop a competitive edge, not to follow trends. In order to do this, we must leave fear behind”. Depending on each company, innovation may imply breaking the traditional business model — this means that developing new ideas is crucial.
Eliana Diaz, Marketing and Sales Manager at eShopex in Peru and Ecuador, stresses the importance of innovation being comprehensive and present in absolutely all the areas of a company. She also points out that this process must be oriented towards producing returns.
Innovation is crucial, but it’s important to know why. According to Manuel, innovation processes are carried out in order to find a new branch that produces an added value for the company. Knowledge must be the starting point to develop a strategic business plan for all the areas of the company.
Diana añade que hay que fomentar la competitividad y adaptarse a las restricciones de alcance, tiempo, y coste que generen un producto final con la calidad necesaria, que cumpla las expectativas y que, a su vez, sea lanzado al mercado de una manera efectiva. La innovación no es un camino en línea recta, pero cuanto antes se implementen los procesos necesarios en las empresas, antes ofrecerán garantías a un proyecto. Para ello, es indispensable que haya un equipo de dirección con capacidad y habilidades de negociación, comunicación y liderazgo para prosperar.
Diana adds that competitiveness must be fostered and that it’s necessary to adapt to the range, time and costs restrictions and then create a final product that has the necessary quality, fulfills the expectations and is launched into the market effectively. Innovation doesn’t follow a straight line, but the sooner the necessary processes are carried out, the sooner they will bring confidence to a project. For this, it’s essential to have a capable managing team with the negotiation, communication and leadership abilities needed to thrive.On this, Eliana stresses the importance of e-commerce to achieve that distinctive value — also, the importance carrying out research on the target client and improving the client’s experience in order to create an emotional tie with the product or service.
Ok, we now know how to make innovation effective but, how do we manage to have its implementation create the expected results for the company? Eliana insists on the need to use management tools to make communication easier between the members of the team and in order to get an optimum fulfillment of the company’s tasks.
Technology must be implemented based on the needs of the company. It doesn’t matter which one is better or worse, it’s about using the one that is more convenient. As Diana puts it: “Innovation is in the mind of the people”.
Manuel, on the other hand, explains his theory of the blue ocean: The ocean in which there are competitors is red and, when we are floating on it, we shouldn’t be watching the other boats, but rather finding out how to move to an ocean where there’s nobody. For that, we must pay attention to the swimmers, who have the key that will help us discover the value that will lead us to that blue ocean and, as a result, to innovation.In order to get new ideas, some basic elements are needed, such as carrying out research on the client, creating services or products that are different and having multidisciplinary teams to carry out tasks as efficiently as possible.
Only an open mind can break the traditional business models. Diana insists on the fact that employees must adapt rapidly to their functions —that are updated continuously— and, for that, they need companies to train them without the fear of them leaving.
If we wish to take the path to innovation, taking risks is crucial — if we don’t, then we’ll just be walking down a road that already exists. Companies must rely on their employees and make them feel as part of the process. If all employees see that they have something to give to an organisation and feel encouraged by that, then the ties become stronger. That’s why Manuel strongly supports empowering and involvement of employees in every level. Sometimes, ideas come from the base of the pyramid, not straight from management. That’s why every area is important and every department must be in line with a common goal.
At Google, 20% of the team’s time is used for innovation and 50% of the company’s new projects come from that 20%. This example proves that high cost investments can bring about an even greater benefit.
Finally, it’s true that we are living through hard times with coronavirus, but it’s also true that new opportunities are being created. Companies need to involve their employees further and have a broader vision of the business while keeping continuous internal communications.
Even if there are less resources now due to the limitations that the pandemic brought about, innovation must always be sought in all areas. Companies must go for it — and also for immediacy in communication, both internally and with clients, since a great part of innovation is achieved thanks to having good communication with consumers.
2020 has been the most disruptive year to date and has brought about relevant changes. For example, the fact that companies have had to adapt to new ways of working to protect their employees while still carrying out the needed tasks — giving rise to the home working boom.
It’s clear that innovation processes in companies have sped up as a consequence of Covid-19. Innovation was needed to survive and evolve. After all that we have gone through, 2021 is the perfect time to strengthen all that didn’t work last year and improve day by day.