Is Your Business Model Encouraging Innovation?
My partners and I often encounter clients who need guidance on how to develop innovative product offerings. Sometimes it is difficult to change the way people have acted over their entire careers. Old business models are based on growth through customer retention. New models are based on a change to an innovative culture model.
So the question becomes: How do you make an innovative focus work within an existing business model?
There are different rules for both models. The typical business model is how money gets made and what drives profitable execution of the business. The rules of the “culture of innovation model” depend on values that drive behavior and commitment. When the two are in conflict the business rules will always win out. That is because business measures are what gets rewarded. On the other hand, a culture of innovation encourages questions, challenges and risk-taking. The challenge we have at FreshXperts is convincing clients that they don’t have to choose between the two models. Success can come in merging the two together.
Do these values and behaviors sound familiar?*
- Excel at your job
- Be loyal to your company
- Work with those you can depend on
- Seek a competitive advantage
- Do the job right the first time
- Strive for perfection
Those are the values of a business driven model. Now consider these.*
- Break rules and dream
- Listen to your customers
- Trust and be trusted
- Seek fairness, not advantage
- Experiment and iterate with others
- Err, fail and persist (Ready, fire, aim)
The two lists seem to be nearly incompatible. The trick is to bring your business model requirements into an innovation framework rather than the other way around. Innovation rules become the driver of the business outcomes.
An innovative business culture is one that understands the risk of not taking a risk. Let me repeat….understand the risk of not taking a risk. Constantly look for something beyond the status quo. Your leadership could very well be more powerful; your conversations more meaningful; and the pace of positive change could be radically accelerated. In this way, innovation drives better business outcomes.
Call us!! The FreshXperts are here to help!!
*Henry Doss, UNC, Charlotte