Time to innovate

We know innovation is critical to staying competitive, particularly at the moment. ‘Disrupt’, ‘pivot’, ‘innovation’, ‘think tank’ are all terms you are hearing regularly over this period so I thought, to give you a hand, I would share Google’s 9 principles of innovation.

Back in 1930, the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter released a theory for economic development, in which he outlined 5 ways innovation can show up:

  • Introduction of a new or improved product or service (product / service innovation)
  • Introduction of new processes or improvement of existing processes (process innovation)
  • Opening doors of new markets (sales innovation)
  • Developing new supply sources such as materials, equipment and other inputs (supply chain innovation)
  • Fundamental changes in industrial structures (market innovation)

It’s impressive that these 5 points are still considered core innovation areas! However since Mr. Schumpeter’s time, there’s been another factor overlaid to the business arena (which affects all of the above): technological innovation.

Tech has shrunk the world, made things faster, and opened up new opportunities. Market boundaries have dissolved both geographically and operationally.

Below are 9 ideas from Google to help drive innovation:- 

1. Innovation comes from everywhere

Don’t expect the best and brightest ideas to only come from just the business leaders. Everyone at all levels are capable of having great ideas. It should be everyone’s responsibility and the more you can include your team and/or business partners or suppliers in this, the better and potentially wider your ideas can be.

2. Focus on the user (or the customer)

Revenue takes care of itself (says Google), when you build great products that focus on the needs of the users. Instead of focusing on profits, aim to win your customer over with outstanding products and brilliant service.

The one thing COVID-19 will definitely do, is change the way everyone does business so it is important to think about what are your clients needs at the moment and what are they likely to be after COVID-19? Will they change?

3. Think 10X

Don’t just think about small, incremental improvements. Think 10X improvements. Innovations and market disruptions are about making a huge difference. Encourage all staff to think about how things can get 10X better.

4. Bet on unique insights

Your company has a unique viewpoint from which it sees the world, your market and your customers. Back your unique insights to deliver something to the world that is truly unique.

5. Launch and iterate

Don’t work months or years to deliver a product, that you find out later no-one wants. Use the Google approach to go to market early with a minimum viable product. Get fast market feedback. Then iterate your approach based on the only opinion that matters: the market.

6.  20% time

Google encourages employees to spend 20% of their time pursuing ideas they are passionate about. This brings out everyone’s natural creative and innovative spirit. Now, this may not be always possible to do however while there are still social distancing restrictions with possibly some extra time on some staff members hands, it is a great challenge to set your team to come up with new ideas or improved products/services.

7. Default to open

Google’s policy is as much open-information as possible. This principle helps to remove the “knowledge-bubbles” where expertise doesn’t get actively shared, or worse, held onto for personal competitiveness. The more you share, the better the quality of response and potential solution. If you have any customer research, complaint history, known frustrations or prior wish list items (that are not commercially sensitive), these might help stimulate ideas for your team.

8. Fail Well

The only way to succeed is to fail. Failure should be a badge worm proudly. It’s those who are willing to fail that push the boundaries, take risks and innovate like crazy. Give your team the freedom to fail. They key is to not fall in love your own idea, pull out quickly and learn from any mistakes.

 9. Have a mission that matters

Have a mission that your employees believe in. Strive to do something great. Having an exciting mission gives staff a reason to come to work each day with passion and an urgency to innovate! If you mission is not powerful enough, it may be a time to revisit it.

Are you ready to stoke the fires of innovation in your business? Download the Innovation Workshop Plan on our free resources page  https://bespokehr.com.au/resources/ that provides a step-by-step guide to harnessing the idea power of your team.


Are you a leader that wants more help over this period of time? Sign up for our new Era of Leadership 6 week program.

To support our managers over this time, we have developed a tailored 6 week program. We have just started it but don’t worry, you can catch up. We have taken the best of our 90 day program and added some new critical traits and tool that will help managers lead their team over these challenging times.

This program will be a live online program run Wednesday mornings for 90 minutes over 6 weeks and will have action exercises, useful templates and real life examples to provide immediate impact and support. Plus, we will have 15 minutes at the end to address any questions, issues or blockers that might be causing you any concern.

Click here for more information…