Tips for Technology Company
Most businesses need to innovate to survive. This is common wisdom today. As Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, puts it, “The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this thought of consistent change that makes you a development organization.”
Innovation In Tech
For tech companies, the problem is especially profound. If you’re a retail store, innovation might not be as important as, say, pricing, inventory and staff retention — bread-and-butter issues.
But tech companies are constantly jockeying to provide the speediest, most robust products. By and large, technology companies compete by offering a sturdier, more impressive value proposition than their competitors. Innovation is their bread and butter.
In tech, you can’t rest on your laurels. Regardless of whether your items are ensured by licenses, you’ll have to advance and extend your incentive. But you want to be faithful to your lineup of original products while expanding them.
Innovation is a head-scratcher! Beneath, I’ll offer a few hints on the most proficient method to remain imaginative as an innovation organization.
1. Reframing Your Buyer
In his seminal article “Change or Die,” Alan Deutschman writes, “Steve Jobs’s turnaround at Apple shows the impact of reframing and telling a new narrative that’s simple, positive and emotional.” For Deutschman, Steve Jobs is an extraordinary case of utilizing a story to change the manner in which an innovation organization is seen.
You can also use this principle to create a strategy for innovation. You can ask: Are our products responding to people’s needs as they exist today? Are there user needs we’re not responding to?
Want a great, in-depth look at this process? Check out Jon Kolko’s article, “A Process for Empathetic Product Design,” published by Harvard Business Review (subscription required). Jon’s company took an analytical look at the people touched by their product — in his case, students and recruiters — and asked observational questions about those people.
So for instance, if your product provides technology that helps widget sellers sell widgets, and helps widget buyers buy widgets, your team could ask, “Why do sellers want to sell widgets? Why do buyers want to buy widgets?” And then you could put your answers together as a team. Very often, new ideas about customer empathy come out of this process.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes again and again. New ideas will soon start buzzing.
2. Engage The Whole Team
There’s much talk today about “siloing” in the office. A silo mentality is the sectioning-off of information, goals and projects within one company. Though folks mention silos in the context of efficiency and effectiveness, there’s a lot of innovation-related collateral damage that comes with the silo mindset. Especially in tech.
How so? At JobDiva, we model a de-siloed workspace. We find that this approach spurs growth across the board, engaging talent and driving innovation. If and when someone has an idea, a question or a suggestion about what our company is up to, they’re welcome and even invited to give feedback.
Of course, the same size does not fit all. Though this open feedback process might not work for every company, limiting the use of silos is a good first step in creating a more innovative and forward-looking company. Internal conversations are key to innovation, and the more open and democratic that conversation is, the better it will be. Welcome all voices, and you’ll soon be welcoming new ideas.
3. Make Sure Your Innovations Are Usable
You want innovations that are easy to explain and, most importantly, work well.
Think of Hotbot, the early search engine. It was a great idea, but Hotbot didn’t live up to the capabilities that Google later developed. Only publicize and/or sell an innovation if it’s ready for the public. After all, you’re going to be evaluated (by customers, influencers and the market at large) based on successes in innovation.
And if your innovations are radical steps forward, try to build buzz. At the point when Google presented Gmail, the organization didn’t simply say, “Here’s Gmail, everybody!” This created a huge amount of hype and excitement, years before social media was running the show.
At the point when your item is genuinely new, don’t discharge it without working up enthusiasm. Ensure people realize how inventive you truly are.
Conclusion: There’s No One Way To Be Innovative
There are so many paths for an innovative company to take, so many different road maps. Apple stays innovative by providing sleeker, more minimalistic experiences; Microsoft and IBM innovate by providing, in ways, more robust products.
It all depends on your organization’s identity. Stay true to your technology company’s identity. Innovate in ways that work for you — your value proposition, your company structure. If you can do that, you’ll find it way easier to become the innovator you’re meant to be.