Long gone are the days when innovation meant that a company brought together qualified experts in research laboratories to develop new products behind closed doors. This scenario is outdated and will probably lead only very few companies to success in the future.
| “The future belongs to those who hear it coming”
The cost of developing new products is enormous. Regardless of whether a new drug, software or consumer product is being designed, there are different hurdles in each area. Starting with legal regulations, through research and prototype development, to marketing.
And it gets even worse: Product life cycles are constantly shortening. This can be seen, for example, in the current trend of ‘fast fashion’ in the clothing industry and, self-explanatory, in technical products. Our world today is becoming increasingly fast-paced and social, socio-economic as well as technological developments are becoming more and more unpredictable.
When we talk about innovation in the corporate context today, we can no longer talk about a department. Nor should we be talking about a small group of researchers in the company who design products in the privacy of their own rooms.
Innovation affects the entire company. Every hierarchical level, every department, every employee. The idea of innovation must be deeply anchored in the minds of employees. In addition, a corporate culture must be created that rewards employees for innovative suggestions, does not punish them for mistakes, and seriously discusses every idea in this regard, no matter how impossible or unimplementable.
Today, innovation does not only include technologies and the internal research and development department, but must be found in the business model. An innovative, practical and customer-oriented business model is essential. Simply having an idea is no longer enough. If you take a look at various industries, you will quickly see that good business models always beat good ideas based on less innovative business models in the long run. Wal-Mart and Dell are just two examples that have confirmed this thesis in the past. Excellent implementation of business model innovation is part of the daily business at these companies.
So what are the ways for companies and entrepreneurs to adapt operating structures, shed light on their own business model and identify potential for improvement? This question will be the subject of the next article in our blog.
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