Successful Innovation Starts From Within
It’s a cliché, of course, but it has remained relevant for more than 2,000 years: “Change is the only constant.”
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this saying is that it’s seemingly more applicable every year. The business landscape today is characterized by trends and events that happen so quickly that they take most business leaders by surprise.
Turnover of ideas and fads is at an all-time high, taking all but the most astute business leaders off-guard. After all, what is the failure rate of startup companies? A full 90%! But it’s not just fledgling companies that struggle to stay relevant; established behemoths struggle as well to provide product and service offerings that resonate with their markets.
In the 21st century, no company stands the chance of success without business leadership prepared to deal with change so rapid and sudden.
What is the secret to leading a company that can respond, and respond promptly, to change that is constant?
Managers and leaders who understand that innovation and modernization are the keys to success.
Yes, innovation and modernization are two different things. Innovation is a new idea, method or product. Modernization is the process of adapting something to current needs or habit. Innovation is required to provide those goods or services that appeal to consumers, while modernization is the adaptation needed to accommodate these changes.
Both are necessary to keep up with the pace of change in the modern business environment. Both are necessary for our world to move forward with the advancements that are now inevitable.
These are the advancements that businesses must anticipate and adapt to stay ahead of the competition. It is no longer enough or sufficient to roll out a product once a year or an improved version every now and then.
At the same time, we see debacles such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 disaster. Or even the bumpy implementation of PCI-compliant requirements for credit and ATM cards to have a chip or a PIN feature with no conformity from merchant to merchant, leaving the customer perplexed whether to swipe their card or insert it into a chip reader, only slowing down an already frustrating checkout process.
These are just two examples of companies or regulatory compliance attempting to innovate at a rate that modernization couldn’t accommodate.
The future of business belongs to the Zuckerbergs of the world who come up with innovative and market-shattering ideas that keep pace (for the most part) with the necessary processes of adapting to these innovations.
For example, while SnapChat launched its services with the unique value proposition of disappearing messages and photos, its longevity seems to depend on creating entertaining filters and creating stories to tell the day in the life of a user. But not long after the popularity of these features skyrocketed, they were integrated into first Instagram and then Facebook, robbing SnapChat of one of its most popular unique features.
But Facebook’s ability to adapt, adopt and implement innovations in a timely manner doesn’t lie only with the product development teams. Their success stems just as much from the internal structure of an organization that accommodates and promotes agility. Business agility allows organizations to respond rapidly to changes in both internal and external environments, without losing momentum or vision.
The point is that younger generations from Millennials to Gen Z’s measure time in nanoseconds and are in constant need of new products and services. This is something that marketers and companies must recognize.
They must devise not only products and services for this generation, but also how they organize, manage and operate with entities to be successful in the modern 24/7 rapid response culture and embrace the change wave to succeed.
After a year of writing columns for Parking Today on the topic of Social Media, discussing a perplexing marketing component and its application to parking ... And after I had a brief discussion with JVH at PIE earlier this year, we decided that there are so many more subjects and aspects of business transforming at lightning speed that organizations need to master across the board to remain competitive.
Through conversations with parking professionals from industry newbies, the most senior of parking veterans, and the increasingly diverse players who make up the once tight-knit community, we decided that my column this year will branch out.
I will tackle the issues that businesses face as they work to keep up with the intimidating pace of innovation and modernization, not just through products and services development.
My column will grapple with topics ranging from how to develop leaders for the 21st century to branding your company as cutting-edge and relevant; from providing customer service that meets the expectations of your consumers to maintaining a workforce that has the necessary skills to make all these things possible.