Invention is creating something new that never existed before. Innovation on the other hand is changing something that already exists and is established by introducing something new that will make it more efficient and lead to improvement in revenue and return on investment. This usually means adding value for the customer. One of the most common barriers to innovation in organisations is the fear of rejection. Just because things are always done one way doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon or made more efficient. The old adage that ‘if it isn’t broken there is no need to fix it’ may not always stand true.
Being open minded
If one of your employees comes up with a new way of making a system more efficient or a creative idea on how to improve and increase turnover, then give them a chance to explain and justify their reasoning and thoughts. Don’t shoot down the idea based on past experiences or because the idea isn’t in line with your usual and regular operations. Just because something hasn’t been done this way before doesn’t make it a bad idea. Sometime a good idea can replace an established one. In order for some ideas to succeed many more ideas will fail. So creating an environment within the company that encourages employees to continuously scan the internal and external markets for ideas that may be developed into an innovative idea takes time and resources. Organisations that encourage innovation will grow. Employees will not be motivated to come up with new ideas if they don’t get an adequate listening or if they know that you will not take the time or if you as manager/owner are not open minded to innovation.
Look outside the box
Ideas can often be improved upon, merged with other ideas or shelved until the time is right or the economic climate improves. However, the fact that your organisation has a culture of innovation and advancement is what is important. Sometimes an idea can come from previous problems or from expected future problems. Always assess and evaluate an idea based on the goals of your organisation, keeping in mind costs and expected outcomes and its added value to your customers.