“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein.
Last week we introduced the topic, ‘Innovation and Technology‘ and how they both work simultaneously. Today, we will be talking about its importance in the business environment.
In a digital economy, speed is essential and customers expect products and services to be instantly available through whatever channel they choose. If I was told fifteen years ago, that I could order a product/service online here in Nigeria and on a platform created by Nigerians, I would have doubted it.
But now it’s happening, thanks to innovation and technology. With the emerging adverse and fluctuating business and economic conditions, any organization that sees & acts upon the opportunities and possibilities for change through innovation in the current business environment will not only survive, but will successfully compete and flourish.
Here are some of the reasons why innovation and technology are important to our businesses:
- To Solve Problems:
Looking at Albert Einstein’s quote above affirms the fact that for development to take place, you need to change the regular routine. The first thing about understanding innovation is that it is, in essence about seeing, perceiving, and solving problems in creative ways.
It requires a sense of urgent passionate purpose, visionary dreaming, and thinking to play with solving difficult problems so as to improve the quality of people’s lives and the way we live.
- Adapting to Uncertain Events:
Random and unpredictable events are not anticipated, but they require finding new ways of responding and adapting to them, and their impact, when they happen.
So being innovative involves being willing and competent in adapting and in knowing how to think differently, analytically, and laterally as well as knowing how to think at the critical, creative and associative levels.
To see and solve problems and respond to uncertain events and external crises in different ways to transform them into creative ideas and innovative solutions that people value and cherish
- Taking advantage of global entrepreneurship:
Entrepreneurship is global and is growing in emerging markets across the world, connecting countries globally. These include people who really want to ‘both’ take self-responsibility for their futures, by contributing towards making the world a better and more sustainable place ‘and’ make a difference via the social, women, and youth sectors.
This movement is being powered
- By governments, realizing that entrepreneurship is a vehicle of economic success and prosperity.
- By organizations, realizing that they can harness the collective genius of their people through building an entrepreneurship capability.
- Finally, by the rise of new impact investors.
Innovation is an enabler of entrepreneurship as well as a way of empowering people to take control of their lives and manifest their own destiny and economic prosperity.
- Adapting to changing business dynamics and trends
Today, hiring processes are shifting as more recruiters rely on internet-based social processes, where ‘reputation’ is fast becoming more important to professionals and companies alike.
Freelancing and contracting are becoming a way of life, meaning that more people are working from home, taking responsibility for generating their own income and wealth. They are also operating more from co-working and collaborative work environments.
This means they are networking and teaming to share and gain knowledge, skills and experience.
These factors are forcing organizations to explore innovative strategies for enhancing staff engagement, empowerment and enablement, as well as with the acquisition and retention of the best talent.
- Responding to increasing customer needs:
There are significant changes required as to how we perceive and sense customers’ needs, wants and expectations.
They are empowered by the increasing speed and proliferation of choices available in our increasingly connected and digitized world. Their focus is on receiving value that demonstrates that companies understand and empathize with them and support their lifestyle choices.
Increasing consumer needs are impacting organizations to become increasingly customer-centric through innovative change.
Using human centered design to improve the users’ (our) experience provides increased value and new ways to create and invent products and services, as well as to execute plans in ways that people value and cherish.
- Maximizing globalization connectivity:
The current wave of globalization has been driven by policies that have opened economies domestically and internationally, as a result of many governments adopting free-market economic systems, vastly increasing their own productive potential and creating new opportunities for international trade and investment.
Whilst reducing barriers to global trade and negotiating new international agreements to promote trade, in goods and services as well as in investments.
This trend allows true connectivity and collaboration to occur. It encourages anyone, any place at any time, to develop an internet-based business that leverages and builds scale via the application of lean methodologies.
Coupled with the speed and pace of technological change, increasing availability of private funding and easing of government infrastructures and compliance factors make it easier for people to initiate low-cost, internet-based global businesses.