Getting started with innovation

Board game piece placed at the start

Image by 12photostory on Unsplash

Innovation can seem like a fuzzy concept, linked with equally vague terms like inspiration and creativity, but at its core innovation is about solving problems - for the customer, for the company, for the market as a whole. The key to effective innovation is to solve the right problems in the right way.

4 tips for effective innovation

  1. It doesn’t have to be radical - small changes can make a significant difference
  2. Start simple and add complexity as you go
  3. Let the solution evolve over time - you don’t need to know all the answers straight away
  4. It’s ok to fail - discovering something is a bad idea means you’re one step closer to finding the solution

Where do you start?

As LEGO learned the hard way in the 1990s, innovation should always start with research. Research can include any fact-finding activity, such as reading articles (desk research), talking to co-workers, interviewing experts or users, surveying customers, investigating the market or studying your competitors.

Research ensures your innovation project is built on solid foundations. Research enables you to:

  • Gain a clear picture of your current situation
  • Understand the needs of your users and customers
  • Make decisions based on understanding rather than assumptions
  • Flag up bad ideas early
  • Discover ideas that have potential

Research also allows you to build a strong, evidence-based business case for any innovation projects, ensuring that all of the key factors that will feed into its success are considered and detailed, before valuable time and resource are committed.

Want to learn more?

You can learn more about how to use research to develop innovative products and services by watching our webinars or booking a free call with us to discuss your ideas. We also recommend attending a short course like the one run by STEAMhouse at Birmingham City University exploring 'Innovation Methods and Mindset' - find out more below.

Innovation Methods and Mindset

Steamhouse Course Image

A short course run by STEAMhouse at Birmingham City University for managers and leaders looking to make innovation happen.

You'll learn methods and approaches that drive innovation, from leading industry practitioners who've been there and done it.