As innovation is key to succeeding in the “new normal”, I thought a few tips might prove helpful:

1. Create a culture of innovation – it’s not enough to encourage innovation in R&D. Those companies who create a culture of innovation will be those who succeed.

2. Start with the customer – it doesn’t matter what your best sales person or R&D resource thinks a customer wants. What matters is what the customer perceives “to add value”.

3. Encourage mistakes – it’s impossible to innovate if mistakes are considered “bad”. Instead, mistakes must be encouraged. A trend of the same mistake would be considered “bad”.

4. Invest 1st – in today’s economy, businesses are cutting costs and conserving cash. However, to innovate, you must invest – at least make it a priority in terms of time. There are smart ways to invest without breaking the bank.

5. Encourage debate – it’s tough to develop a new product or create a new service if everyone is encouraged to “toe the line”. Creativity is stifled unless debate and brainstorming are encouraged – not just in words but in Managers actions.

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