How to practice innovation?
Hi. I’m Vinicius Scaramel and I’m in charge of InterCement’s Innovation Department. With the launch of the White Rabbit portal, we’ll be closer to each other and more connected. I’ll write posts on this blog on a regular basis to talk about everything that involves innovation by showcasing practices, cases, methodologies, and technology in a light, relaxed fashion. Should it become dull, please, write your comment below because there’s no place for dullness here.
As the title of this post says, I want to pass along some ideas of how you can practice innovation, but, can somebody tell me why innovating is important? Even more in a company that has been manufacturing and selling cement for such a long time? A partial answer lies in the very same question. The trend is that very traditional businesses, with little change in products and processes, end up becoming commodities, thereby losing competitiveness and reducing revenues in these companies. For this reason, innovating is fundamental to stand out in the market and keep the company growing, which affects all of us. See how executives in large companies see this question in the video below.(http://www.valor.com.br/video/5492236116001/valor-inovacao-2017-a-inovacao-de-hoje-e-a-receita-de-amanha-avaliam-empresarios)
Another reason for innovating is to be able to respond to the threats of new business models or products that can finish up a company. You must be tired of listening to the BlockBuster vs. NetFlix o Kodak cases, companies that died with innovation. Although we don’t see in the near future any new material replacing cement, at least not so cheap, digitalization, capture and analysis of information of all types in real time, along with the decentralization and capacity of processing information, makes a rupture of market possible, even for cement.
But, what do you have to do with this? Well, the thing is that making a company innovative doesn’t depend only on R&D researchers or the Innovation Department. An innovative company questions everyday what it can do in a different way to become more profitable, cost-effective, and sustainable. That’s why all the processes and people involved must take part in this change, propose and embrace new ways of doing, aiming for sustainable growth. And there lies the role of the Innovation Department: not only to find and implement new technologies, but also to spread innovative methodologies and tools that let anybody, even you, my friend, be able to contribute to our differentials.
Going back to the title of this post: how to practice innovation? I’ll give you some tips to do it. In the last meeting of Neogera Invites, event held by us every two months in Brazil to inspire us and make us reflect on how we can have an innovative posture, we said that one of the important behaviors is finding new answers, and we gave three tips:
- Find problems
New answers are required when traditional solutions don’t take effect. That’s why you have to find “hard” problems to resolve, pay attention to feedbacks that are repetitive about some specific situation and the pain involved in it.
- Be inspired
New ideas are junctions and reorganizations of old ideas. That’s why looking at other markets and segments unrelated to our industry makes us find solutions that can be adapted to our scenery. Talking to different people, with different cultures, opinions and specializations helps us to make new connections and we have an advantage because we are a multicultural organization (yes, we can!!!!).
- Protoype and test
If we are doing something really new, the odds to make a mistake are more than those to make it right, that’s why we are so obsessed for prototypes: they are the quickest and cheapest way to learn, and learning is the key to success to innovate. And so that this process works, we need to be detached, and the motto we use is: “fall in love with the problem, not with its solution.”
In the course of time, I’ll make several posts about design thinking, design sprint, lean startup and several other buzz words that will not leave you behind when that friend, cousin, son or nephew of yours that knows computing and has a startup comes and talks to you.
Did you like this post? You hated it? You have a problem that requires innovation. Leave your comment below. I want to know more.
If you have some kind of innovation like a new way of making coffee, a revolutionary spreadsheet, or a new business idea, share it with us clicking here.