January 15, 2018

I attended the Manufacturing Summit advisory committee recently since I chair the Innovation Awards and so innovation is top of mind. Is innovation top of mind for you everyday?  In today’s Amazon-impacted, highly competitive world, the secret to success is innovation.  Unfortunately, although problems must be solved, it just gets us back to our typical performance levels.  That is NOT enough.  Instead, innovation allows us to leap to an entirely new level of performance.  For example, wouldn’t your customers love an innovation in customer experience that delivers what they didn’t even know they wanted before they knew they wanted it?  Think it might be worthwhile to keep an eye to innovation?

One tip to implement this week: 
Innovation can come in many shapes and sizes.  You do NOT have to invent something totally new.  After all, that doesn’t come along very often; not even Apple does that.  The ipod was a derivative of the Sony Walkman.  That’s why we recognize manufacturers for innovations in several categories – resource and process efficiency, product development, human capital and talent, marketing, and students.  If you or anyone you know has accomplished improvements in these areas, please submit an application.

If you are just starting your journey into innovation, think about attending the Summit as you’ll gain some valuable ideas.  And, you can make some great headway (whether innovation is new or old hat) by taking time to focus on your culture.  Does it support innovation?  Do you give employees time to try new ideas?  Do you give them freedom within reasonable guidelines?  Do you celebrate failure?  Certainly, no organization will be success with innovation if failure is not tolerated as it is a part of the process.  If you’d like to discuss how to instill a culture of innovation at a more detailed level, contact us.