The importance of creativity and innovation in companies

With relatively simple, but creative actions, you can transform your company.

The objective of writing this article is to expand how innovation occurs, how to use creativity and innovation as a factor of differentiation between companies, and what happens when companies suffer from these two elements.

If we are all born capable of learning to be creative, we can certainly also learn to be innovative.

In the year 1672, Ferdinand Verbiest (Jesuit missionary born in Belgium), built the first vehicle that did not depend on horses to move. Only the steam was necessary. However, you may not have heard of him. That's because his creation was nothing more than a toy. Not big enough to carry a person, animal or object.

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It was only in 1769 that Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot (French inventor) took the big step by building a steam car, initially designed to drag artillery pieces. The Fardier, as Cugnot called it, began to circulate through the streets of Paris.

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Later, in 1876, that the first "modern" vehicle, using 4-stroke engine was created by Karl Benz.

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In this vast interval of time, several innovations have been made from the existing prototypes to reach the car models we all know.

Every change, be it an improvement in the production system, safety elements, and the appearance of electric cars causes innovations to be made one after the other. And as technology advances, faster these innovations are part of our daily lives.

Innovation is not invention. It is not necessary to reinvent the airplanes or create a new Internet to be innovative.

At work and in life, creativity and innovation can be present in small actions, such as:

  1. Creation of new products
  2. Offer differentiated services
  3. Innovate in processes
  4. Be on channels not explored by the competition
  5. Create new business models
  6. New ways of working
  7. New uses of existing tools

Automatically when we think about creativity, we make the association with artistic activities such as painting, drawing, writing, creating music, photos and so on.

In fact, these are activities that do not exist without creativity. Without creative ideas, whatever the area, it is impossible to earn money. All successful companies bet on creativity and constant innovation to maintain their leadership position in their respective markets.

The Forbes list of the 25 most innovative companies in 2017, included names such as: Marriot International (hotel chain); Netflix; Amazon; Vertex (pharmaceutical industry); Unilever; Tesla Motors, Wells Fargo, Apple, Toyota Motor, Bank of America among many others.

What do these companies have in common?

In addition to being very profitable, companies that are known for their creativity and innovation promote the production and application of new ideas by all their employees. To achieve this, they accept to take risks and often fail, but the important thing is that they do not give up trying to lead the market. These companies year after year expand the budget in innovation, managing to involve all their departments in this process of change.

If you work in a large company, or are a stable business owner or want to take your current business to a level of growth never experienced. Constant innovation will have to be part of your daily life. Especially in times of economic recession, where the financial resources of potential clients is scarce, and therefore very disputed.

Win who knows how to differentiate. Who creates a solution that is not being offered to a potential problem. To achieve this, it is sufficient to identify a market opportunity that will have value for the client. And, obviously, put all your energy to make this happen in the shortest possible time.

With the advance of technology, more and more people are exposed to developing innovation. And the more reference and information, the more you can connect the points and form new ideas. The problem is that you are not the only one who is doing it. Everyone around you is going this way.

In the end, those who get, faster, put into practice and therefore become the official owner of the idea.

Technology has allowed us to do unthinkable things and that is why innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter. What makes sense today may not mean anything in a matter of a month. For this reason, who remains stuck in time and continues to concentrate on innovations that have worked in the past, will eventually disappear from the map.

When a lack of creativity and innovation destroys a business

Who remembers the famous Polaroid cameras?

When they appeared on the market, they represented a true revolution. In a time when it was necessary to wait a few days to finally have access to images of any special occasion, Polaroid became the sensation of the moment, since his photo was revealed instantly. A success that stopped making sense with the arrival of digital cameras in the market.

In fact, for at least 10 years, while digital cameras came to appear in the photography market, Polaroid could have dominated this market because it was already investing in research to develop digital products. That is why, if they had mastered technology, how did they respond so late to an imminent innovation? The fear of failure! The worry of seeing your profit margin reduced.

After years of investment in innovation in an expensive technology, Polaroid, he realized that they would end up with one of his most profitable arms: the sale and development of the photographic film. This resistance has led to the commercialization of their digital cameras was not ahead and when they decided to really enter the fight for space, the market was already dominated by other brands. He resisted change for fear of innovating his business model and not in the development of a new technology. And so they could not survive. It is not enough to have the idea and develop it to innovate. It takes courage to risk.

Kodak and Polaroid are perfect examples of the motivation behind the lack of creativity and innovation of some companies.

The fear of failure!

Often, fear is exposed by a resistance to making financial investments. Whether for the development of a new prototype of a product, whether to invest in an update course or to increase marketing investment.

Even if you are a small or medium businessman and believe that only large companies have to pay attention to it, I leave a warning: this attitude can be fatal to your professional life.

For those who are afraid of failure, be it the CEO of a new company or director of a multi-year company, I recommend that you learn and learn a little more about Growth Hacking. Or in the words of the creator of the term, Sean Ellis, Marketing oriented experiments.

In summary; I would like to demonstrate through this article that creative potential has no limits. The key to this is to always keep an open mind to new business opportunities and come to understand that the fear of failure is part of the innovation process. But this should not be a limitation to make your dreams come true.

On the other hand, innovation is part of the life cycle of products and / or services. And, as such, it always renews and evolves. A process that never ends.

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