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Innovation

Out Of The Box Thinking For Business Success

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No idea is a bad one and according to entrepreneur, Richard Branson, “any idea can be a great idea if you think differently, dream big and commit to seeing it realised.

During times of poor trading and hardship, like when we’re in a deep recession, it’s the great thinkers and innovators that come forward with new offerings fit for purpose. This is not a coincidence more a necessity for survival.

Therefore is now the time to make significant changes in your business? With time on your side, use it productivity, starting with a list of the areas in your business that need a makeover.

Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions to test the viability of your ‘business as usual’, modus operandi. Lay all the cards on the table and leave nothing out.

Every part of your company needs to be put through its paces with a thorough assessment using proven methodologies or business analysis framework.

PEST is will uncover where you need to dig deeper to test areas that are vulnerable to troughs or recessions in economic activity.

Timing

Is now the right time for major upheaval?

To not change may be riskier, and now is as good a time as any for reviewing your business model and testing your resolve to ignite it again during a global economic recession.

The first question to ask yourself is, does your business stands a chance of success if you choose to change nothing, i.e. leave everything as it was before COVID-19 rocked our lives and economies?

Business As Usual

There’s not a company anywhere, who can carry on as usual because consumers have gone through turmoil with their health, income and security with one or all threatened or compromised. Therefore if your clients’ circumstances have changed your business needs to adapt to dovetail with their new requirements.

Life, But Not As We Know It

Gratuitous spending by the masses is unlikely to return for some time, now we’re in a recession that is set to last a few years. Therefore if your product or service is non-essential think long and hard on what you can change to make it relevant and necessary in the minds of your target customers.

This is where no idea is a bad one, as all ideas open your mind to new opportunities. For example, did you ever think you’d live in a time where car manufacturers would switch to making ventilators, or distillers and perfumeries stop their traditional product lines to make hand sanitiser?

What’s really refreshing with these examples is the fact that in tough times we are less competitive and more collaborative for the greater good of humankind.

Give It A Go

Producing products far removed from your usual fare is also enlightening. It inspires business owners and creators to use their newfound confidence to leave nothing to chance and embrace change management. Stepping outside your comfort zone and exploring other industries, products and services will be invigorating, and you can look forward to positive outcomes from the exercise.

Every business has its own Achilles heel so start with asking the tough questions first.

  • Are you in the right business now or should you shut it down?
  • If you love what you do and your customers can not wait to buy from you again, what can you do to improve their experience?
  • Are using technology and apps for greater efficiencies and customer engagement?

For many companies, irrespective of size, change is inevitable. Your staff now used to working remotely from home, may expect to continue doing so for at least half the week, so what will your work environment look like?

The large office space may be the first thing to go, now the company is hotdesking and staff who can work from home allows do so for much of the week.

Mix With Unconventional Thinkers

Use the fresh eyes of business think-tanks and unconventional thinkers as well as your mentors and people you admire and respect. Your friends, family, associates as well as your neighbours can all be great sources of wisdom, knowledge and be great listeners.

Out Of The Ordinary

Innovation may come from unexpected avenues and unorthodox practices. For example, what were you doing when you had your most recent awe-inspiring idea? Oddly a lot of people says their best ideas come to them when they’re in the shower.

Another common theme is the best ideas never happen at work! So when you need to be creative or innovate, spend more time just about anywhere but at work.

Fast Company has a list of responses ranked one to ten in popularity including ‘in the shower’ at number three in the popularity stakes. Taking out the top spot – to the question of what are you doing when you get your best ideas is ‘when I’m alone’.

Now, this may be a radical move, let your creative people spend more time on their own and set them the task of using that time to think about the business and what could, or should change for the better.

Summary

Work on your business to test its viability and robustness to get through a deep recession. Use your networks and bring in outside help from thinktanks or unconventional thinkers to stimulate out of the box thinking.

Change is inevitable, and nothing is safe, including your traditional business, so embrace new ideas and see where they lead you.

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