Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.
- William G. Pollard
Innovative learning is inevitable not just to grow but to stay in business today. It applies not just to an aspiring professional but to even an established conglomerate. There is a constant need to unlearn, learn and relearn. It’s not a choice but a need with the virtue of the technological advancements and competition in the market. At entry level in any industry, there are a plethora of challenges to make your own space and even established industry leader has a risk of startups that are changing the way we think and do business.
When we talk about innovation it largely implies on a unique idea or product at large. But what we are missing is the scope of innovation or revamp in other important areas where we operate in and where the opportunity of profitability lies. Like the Business Model, the Process, Services or Delivery and Policy or Society innovation while we waste our time and energy in thinking of that unique product idea. Innovation is no more related to the technology companies alone. But as the intervention of technology is expanded to all industries and all area of life in general, the scope of innovation also has increased. The key here is to focus only and only on customer experience and satisfaction.
McDonald's has added a portion to their profitability by innovating customer delivery through Drive-in concept. It saves customers time and takes care of their comfort. At the same time, McDonald’s saves on their cost of seating, garbage disposal and other infrastructural costs while charging you the same money.
For a matter of fact, in the recent times, we have seen major innovations not in the products but in services. Jim Harris in his popular talk about Disruptive Innovation turning Industries Upside Down throws light on few good examples. Alibaba.com is the largest e-commerce company but doesn’t own any inventory, Airbnb online hospitality services own no hotel rooms, Facebook produces more content than any media corporation, Uber is one of the largest taxi companies but doesn’t own a single taxi.
Many of this innovations had a disruptive implication on the respective industry. Disruptive Innovation is a term coined by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen, describes a process by which a product or services takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors. According to the author himself, the term is misinterpreted manier times. But in general, I understand that it’s about exploring new markets by employing new technologies and adopting new business models in an existing market and industry. In India, Reliance Jio did the same thing within the telecom industry.
Therefore, it’s imperative that we rethink the way we do business and operate on a daily basis. As we apply innovative thinking to redesign our product or services delivery or our incumbent business model, we can rethink dealing with people and situation at home, at work and in general. Innovation is a cognitive process; it keeps you growing as an individual and an entrepreneur. As Steve Jobs says, ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Be an innovation leader!
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