Innovation is an ongoing process. It draws on existing principles and new ideas to effect positive change.
As organizations find new ways to reach customers, they need to embrace new business processes. High value is placed on the customer. Research shows 86% of buyers will pay more for a positive customer experience, making it one of the most important aspects of a business.
Successful innovation requires strategic planning and idea management. In the latest episode of the IdeaScale Nation podcast, hear how one South African company’s past innovations inform its present and future.
Who Is Stratnovation Consulting?
Stratnovation Consulting is an African strategy and consulting firm that helps companies innovate through idea sharing and management. Their clients include The Department of Water and Sanitation, 3M, the South African Post Office, and the city of Cape Town.
Stratnovation advises companies on innovation by focusing on strategic planning, training entire workforces, providing new insights, and project management.
Robert Mulder is Stratnovation’s managing partner. Throughout his 25 years with the company, he has helped clients increase their market share. He now works with top executives and board chairs to perform overall performance.
Dr. Nick Eberl is an innovation associate for Stratnovation and motivates corporate clients on coming up with new ideas. As an innovation historian, he understands the evolution of idea management and the strong role it plays in business success. The Fifa World Cup is one example of innovation through brand transformation.
What Is Innovation?
To Mulder, innovation has many meanings. In the private sector, it is a critical tool to remain competitive. It is responsible for new inventions and startups.
In the public sector, innovation means finding innovative ways to deliver services to taxpayers and stakeholders. This can be accomplished through improving services and launching programs.
Competitiveness and innovation are linked together. In his research, Mulder studied them to see how a national system of innovations could improve through past experiences and modern processes. “It’s therefore absolutely necessary to entrench continuous improvement through transformative change. They go hand in hand and need to be managed strategically to realize tangible results.”
Stratnovation is collaborating with experts to create a digital innovation coaching curriculum. The purpose of this project is to help businesses discover and manage their next big idea.
Innovation requires an open mind. Stratnovation focuses on helping companies be open to new ideas, manage them, then develop the result.
Eberl approaches innovation from a training perspective. He creates materials targeted at specific industries and shows companies how to manage ideas sourced from employees. As he notes, idea management can reinvent the user experience.
What Makes Innovation Successful?
Transformation is a journey. It requires innovation and, sometimes guidance.
Stratnovation encourages innovation in an organization. They help companies find ways to measure their success through idea sharing and implementation.
Idea management is the key to turning around an organization. Ideas should come from inside and outside the company. Encourage employees to share ideas and expand the process to customers and those in the supply chain.
Form an idea-sharing strategy. This should focus on benefitting everyone involved in the process.
One example is a medical insurer called Discovery, which developed a unique fitness model to encourage a healthier lifestyle. The program was called Vitality and was offered to all members to lower the cost of medical insurance claims.
This illustrates the results that occur when ideas are strategically shared across the board. As Eberl explains, “Include everyone and make sure as many ideas as possible are shared from the ecosystem. This includes employees, suppliers, clients, and outside ecosystems, that is the key.”