The Case for Innovation


George Bernard Shaw once said, “Progress is impossible without change.” The man was witty and wise. And still, even though his words are true, we can all be resistant to change. Nobody loves change. It’s understandable that a person would want to dig in their heels and say, “This is the way it’s always been done, so I don’t see any reason to fix what isn’t broken.” But just because something isn’t broken doesn’t mean it’s necessarily working to 100% of its potential. And the best way to make sure it IS working to 100% of a thing’s potential is to constantly be evaluating and considering ways in which it might be better, more efficient, more useful, more cost-saving.

There are two main places where innovation can help you out: overall fiscal and brand health, and external results of innovation. All of the possible benefits or reasons for innovating can be filtered into these two categories. Innovation has been shown to help organizations stay competitive. Unlike fifty years ago, we live in a remarkably connected environment, which makes the marketplace even more saturated with competitors. If you’re not willing to adapt and innovate with the flow of things, you’re sure to be consumed by the market. In fact, in the decade between 1999 and 2009, nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies lost their positions as a result of their failure to keep up. Related to that, being open to innovation allows companies to remain relevant. If you’re entire organization is built around a certain product that becomes obsolete, you’re going to have to roll with the punches and come up with a new product or risk falling by the wayside.

Innovation has also been shown to directly impact the bottom line. This is where the quantitative comes in. Want to save money? The answer is yes. Well, companies that innovate are likely going to be saving money. For example, every dollar spent on newer medicines reduces healthcare spending overall by $7.20. That’s a remarkable benefit for relatively little cost, and it wouldn’t be possible without that investment in the new medicines.

Beyond those internal bonuses, innovation can help your external image as well. Vastly, consumers are behind innovation, and believe that it’s widely beneficial. Nine out of 10 consumers have a better perception of brands who include them in the innovation process, and 71% of millennials believe that business innovation improves society. Far and wide, people like to feel that their voices are heard, and they feel that hearing a wider range of voices makes society better. Plus, there’s that reduction in healthcare costs, so that’s a definite improvement to society.

Basically what it boils down to is that we live in a constantly changing, evolving world. If you aren’t willing to innovate and be adaptable, you will almost certainly be left behind. A great place to find a culture that values innovation is the IdeaScale innovation community. Find out more and join here.

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