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Business Success Requires Innovation, Change and Empowered Employees

Updated on June 5, 2013
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I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest is just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learning & development professional.

How ready are you to compete?
How ready are you to compete? | Source

Every company faces the risk of being obsolete. Will your company be one of them? Any company who does not recognize this risk is either too confident to realize this truth or too closed minded that they can’t see it. Cognizant of such a risk, many business organizations preach the need to innovate. In fact, they take countless hours and spend sums of money to emphasize that innovation is a key to surviving the competitive corporate world. However, many companies face another reality: innovation and change are not taken seriously.

In spite of knowing their importance, there seems to be a force stopping the transition from the old to the new. Engaging these hurdles is paramount to moving the company forward. But are you aware what these hurdles are?


Fight Complacency for Business success

Why fix something that is not broken? It sounds logical, but when you take this idea into the corporate world, the logic simply falters. The problem is that people are satisfied with what they currently have. Although satisfaction is a good motivator, it is regrettably the sworn enemy of innovation. We should never expect new things from doing the same things over and over again. Moreover, our attitude of camplacency stops us from exploring what could be better.

Business success tips

  • Challenge the comfort zones of the employees. Try different ways to do things.
  • Compliment and reward those that are willing to move the company forward.
  • Make them aware that change is inevitable. It is easier for employees to transition when they know what is coming.
  • Constant reinforcement is important to get people to do something that they are not used to. Of course you don’t want to turn employees into Pavlov’s dog, but the idea is almost the same.
  • Involve the employees. Their active participation helps them transition faster.
  • Use the FAB statement. This is a sales technique where you focus on the Features, Advantages and Benefits. When they see what they can get out of it, they can appreciate it more – and resist it less

When was the last time you had an innovative idea?
When was the last time you had an innovative idea? | Source

Coparate Innovations and Change is Important

Another hurdle is the lack of innovative ideas among the members of the organization. This is a corollary of complacency. When you are satisfied with what you have, people just fail to see the importance of improving what is currently done. In addition, many employees are discouraged from innovating in the guise of following protocols and procedures. Sure, processes are there to systematize workflow. But there is always a better way of doing things. Whether no one comes up with a better way or no one even tries to speak up I just do not know.

Innovation requires creativity. Sadly, many companies sap the creativity out of their employees.

Business success tips:

  • Have a way for employees to give their suggestions. You’ll never know where the best ideas will come from.
  • Ask employees how to make their jobs easier
  • Ask customers what else you can do for them
  • Look at best practices of other departments, divisions and even your competitors.
  • Look into other industry and see what you can adapt in your own
  • Look back at old suggestions and recommendations. They might work now.

Someone has to take charge
Someone has to take charge | Source

Empowered Employees Build Successful Business

No one steps up to take on the challenge. More than just the challenge to proposing new ideas, the challenge extends to breaking the stagnating corporate culture. Is there anyone willing to take on the whole corporate culture just to move the company forward? Well, if there are no takers, then do not expect innovations.

Unfortunately, people say change is good if it does not affect them. Once it does, you can find opposition from all sides. No one wants to be a one man team against the majority.

I know a company whose employees kept on ranting about the needed change. Everyone knew what was needed. The only problem was that no one stepped up to take the lead. No one from the executives down to the ranks took on the challenge. Don’t ask me why because the reason eludes me.

Business success tips:

  • Take the initiative
  • Recognize innovators in the workforce
  • Encourage leadership among the employees
  • Train people to lead
  • Listen to people and their suggestions. Many are unwilling to take the lead because they feel it is futile. They feel their ideas are automatically thrown out the window. So listen, you might get something useful.

How much arre you willing to invest?
How much arre you willing to invest? | Source

Business Innovation Leads to Business Success

Innovation is costly. This is a very short-sighted take on innovation. Although research and development can be costly, it is an investment worth using your resources. I worked with a company who refuses to develop their information management system. Everything was archaic! Although they got things done, it took ages just to retrieve even the simplest information. Productivity and service time could have been improved if they were ready to take their company into the future. Unfortunately they were blinded by the cost and failed to see the benefits they could enjoy.

Business success tips:

  • Start small. it does not happen overnight.
  • Consider your available resources and see how else you can use them.
  • Target the most important processes and departments first.
  • Innovaate to save cost while improve productivity


Unhealthy Leadership

Another reason why innovation does not take flight is due to problems in the hierarchy. It can be the top guys who disagree on the direction of the company. There is a relatively new company who is a formidable player in its industry. Their expansion was rapid and business is doing well. Sadly, the top executives can’t agree on whether to standardize their processes or enjoy the status quo of things. In spite of the ideas tossed by many employees down the ranks, nothing if not a few ever materialized. When the top people of the company can’t agree on the direction of the company, everything falls in disarray.

Business success tips:

  • Address important issues as a team
  • Be open to ideas and suggestions
  • Strategic planning is essential. Everyone must be on board with the strategic plans. Of course there will be differences of opinion. But when a decision is made, everyone must support it.
  • Consistency in managing the people is a must. Many executives contradict each other when giving directions to the people. This adds to the difficulty to innovate.

There’s always something new out there. If companies fail to innovate, they will easily be overrun by other more aggressive business organizations. But innovating entails resolving fundamental issues that stop them to create and evolve. In spite all the brilliant ideas, businesses will remain stagnant if these issues are not addressed.

Quick Queries

  • How open is your compnay to new ideas?
  • What corporate cuture exists in your office that hampers innovation?
  • Why is changed frowned upon in your organization?
  • What have you done to advocate innovation and change?


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there BusinessTime. NIce of you to drop by and comment. It is true that camplacency is such a difficult topic. Many employees will not admit that they are complacent. Moreover, providing the right feedback can help them snap out of their current state.

    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 5 years ago from Twin Cities

      Complacency can be a difficult topic to tackle -- it definitely helps for management to send consistent feedback and deal with problems as they arise, or it's far to easy for employees to "float" by without really caring.

      Great hub!