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How To Improve Creativity And Innovation In The Organisation To Boost Sales And Increase Revenue?

Posted by Melinda Stevenson on 5 September 2021

Creativity is a necessary skill for the future. On the one hand, employees need to ensure they remain valuable to their employers through their creativity. On the other hand, business owners must find a way to utilise their staff's creativity effectively. Creativity is the source of innovative thinking in an organisation, and it is not limited to creative teams.

Creativity involves thinking outside the box to develop unique and new solutions for the challenges faced by the organisation and its customers. The future success of an organisation consists in finding ways to incorporate a creative culture into its operations.

Businesses require innovative thinkers who are not afraid to question how the organisation does things. They find a better way to work amongst staff, customers and other stakeholders. Exciting ideas emerge when seemingly unconnected dots are unexpectedly connected, guided by understanding what people truly need and want. 

That is why, even in an age of automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, human abilities such as creativity are still necessary. While these technologies can aid businesses in adapting to rapidly changing conditions, human imagination and visionary thinking truly distinguish a business from its competitors.

How to Increase Innovation in an Organisation in Four Easy Steps?

There are four steps to improve the organisation's innovative process by encouraging staff creativity in the workplace.

It is all too easy to approach innovation passively. After all, innovation appears to be a natural process. If, for example, someone in your organisation has a great idea, you implemented it, you have successfully innovated a new product or service.

While it may appear that way, you will be waiting long if you expect innovation to occur organically. Rather than that, you can implement a process that introduces innovations. Not every innovation you create will succeed, but those that do can exponentially accelerate the organisation's growth.

The four-step innovation process is a framework that many businesses use to build a creative culture in the organisation. You can make changes to the innovation process outlined below to suit your organisation's unique needs, as each company's approach to innovation varies. This broad outline is an excellent place to start. It demonstrates an effective method for driving consistent innovation throughout the organisation.

Step 1 Gathering Issues

The first step is to observe customers' issues. In business, you can learn a great deal from your customers. You can assess what is it about your customers that cause them distress. Is there anything specific that you can identify as a significant issue for a sizable portion of your target market?

If that is the case, resolving that issue represents an obvious opportunity for your business. One of the critical points to keep in mind when developing new ideas is your access to a particular market.

It is easier to create something unique to sell to an existing market than finding a demand for a new product or service you want to sell in a new target market. Since you already captured the current customers' attention, it is easier to offer another alternative solution to a similar problem.

You are simply observing and absorbing information at this stage. Consider what is essential to your current customers and assess how to make their lives easier by developing a new offering. You can ask customers via a survey or other method to determine the specific issues with the products you currently sell.

Step 2 Solution Development

The second step is solution development for customers' issues. After understanding the problems confronting the target market, the next step is actually to solve those issues. This stage requires serious attention and consideration. It will almost certainly be challenging to solve problems that other organisations have not previously solved.

It is critical to find ways to solve your customers' problems and do so in a profitable manner in the long run. Suppose you have a solution to a problem that will never generate a profit in the marketplace. In that case, there is little reason to pursue it further.

Step 3 Testing Solution

Step three is to put the solution you have developed to the test. After you have identified a solution to your customer's problem, the next step is testing. Rather than finding the perfect solution to the problem before developing a product, a better strategy would be to create the first version that a market segment can evaluate.

On the first try, it is nearly impossible to master a product perfectly. Therefore, abandon that notion and focus first on getting as close as possible. You can progress from an initial product offering to something polished when the market sees it through testing and refinement.

You will continue to gain knowledge from your customers at this stage. Suppose you have tested the initial version of the product by offering it on a trial basis to a subset of your loyal customer base. In that case, you can use their feedback to guide future development. 

Consider conducting a pilot program or conducting a trial market study with your target group to test the specific solution and refine it as you gather feedback from the participants. You can then repeat the process as necessary. 

There is no other type of information that is as beneficial as actual user feedback. Therefore, collect as much of this type of information as possible before proceeding to the final step.

Step 4 Solution Execution

The fourth step is executing the solution for customers' issues. After completing all of your homework and preparation, it is time to test your ability to solve a problem. However, implementing the solution concept and placing the product on the market does not mean that your development process has come to an end.

Each product in your line can continuously be improved, which is why you should never stop soliciting feedback and ideas from your customers. The company that is willing to innovate constantly, even after a successful product is on the market, is the one that can gradually increase its market share.

Do not become complacent simply because you have innovated a current product well, as there will always be more problems to solve. Continuously assess how you can expand your product line by monitoring sales and regularly reviewing the profit margins for the various products currently on the market.

Continue to solicit user feedback to determine when to consider adding a new product line to the mix of products currently available to the existing target market.

Rather than being an unplanned event, innovation is a process that can be planned and strategically executed. By following the four-step process outlined in this article, you should be able to bring innovative and exciting products to market consistently.

You do not want your company's brand to be out of step with customer needs, so stay focused on innovation even if you are leading your industry. Markets are constantly changing, and only those organisations that can keep up will maintain profitability for years to come.

How to Effectively Implement the Four-Step Innovation Process?

Innovation is a process that is possible to plan for and implement strategically by following a four-step methodology. The innovation process begins with observing your customer's problems and developing, testing and refining the solutions to their issues.

The four-step innovation process focuses on increasing sales by marketing a product to solve customer's specific challenges and issues. Since it is easier to develop something new to sell to an existing target market than break into a new market. When determining which customer's issues you want to attempt in resolving, it is critical to do so in a profitable manner to boost your business growth.

You can progress from an initial offering of products or services to something polished when the market sees it through testing and refinement. Each product and service you offer has the potential to be improved, and this process can result in continuous low-risk innovation within your existing market.

Creative thinking thrives in an open and supportive environment that encourages individuals to share their perspectives. Businesses are propelled forward by implementing new ideas. That is why it is beneficial for the organisation to provide employees with the appropriate communication channel to provide their suggestions for improving the company.

The staff ideas may relate to new products and services or regarding cost savings and efficiency improvements. Whatever ideas your employees have, ensure they have the opportunity to present their ideas in an open, supportive, and encouraging environment.

To provide employees with an environment where they can freely express their ideas, consider implementing a system to facilitate collecting ideas from many people. 

While large, open meetings can be productive occasionally, they frequently result in a few people dominating the conversation. Quiet, shy members in the organisation will not be heard in that environment, resulting in overlooking their ideas. Provide the communication channel that allows gathering everyone's ideas by implementing a system that encourages participation from all staff.

How to Use a Simple Idea Generation Methodology?

Use a simple and effective method to collect ideas from staff. A simple way of encouraging creativity is to distribute paper slips for participants to jot down their thoughts. In this article, the paper slips can also refer to different ways staff can communicate their ideas which can be in the form of using:

Determine which is the most suitable communication method that is applicable for your organisation. However, this article will refer to paper slips as the primary idea submission methodology to simplify the process.

When the process is complete, the paper slips are collected and reviewed by the management team. There are undoubtedly numerous duplicates among the collected ideas. However, there may be one or two genuinely unique ideas that your organisation has real potential to pursue.

How to Implement a Simple Idea Generation Methodology?

The following section discusses how you can implement the paper slips writing process in your organisation. The example below will give you a good idea of implementing this methodology in your business.

To begin, consider some of the issues or topics you wish to discuss during the paper slips writing meeting. Compile the list of issues for the brainstorming session with employees before the staff meeting to ensure you are adequately prepared.

The topics you discuss with the participants can be specific or broad, depending on the organisation's current issues. The following are some sample topics to consider:

  • What new products could we introduce to the market to complement our existing offerings?
  • Is there a service that our clients frequently request but we do not offer currently?
  • How can you maximise the effectiveness of the brainstorming session with employees?
  • Before commencing the meeting, consider the issues that you want staff to address.

How to Get Started in Using the Simple Idea Generation Methodology?

After preparing the topics, schedule a meeting to begin the paper slips writing process. You will need plenty of paper slips for each participant, as well as writing implements. You can distribute a specific number of paper slips to each participant with instructions to write only one idea on each paper slip. Otherwise, provide a large stack of paper for each participant to use as many as they wish.

At the start of the meeting, provide a detailed outline of the issues or topics for discussion. Depending on the complexity of the subject, give a presentation to ensure that everyone understands the focus areas of the discussion. Alternatively, if the issue is straightforward, you could write the question on a board in front of the room and let them begin.

To ensure that everyone focuses on the task, establish a time limit at the beginning of the session. For example, suppose you are going to address three specific questions. In that case, you could allow fifteen minutes to the first, fifteen minutes to the second, and fifteen minutes to the final. The amount of time allocated to each question will vary depending on the complexity of the subject and the number of ideas you want to gather from the participants.

The process of paper slip writing is as follows:

  • Determine the issues to address.
  • Educate participants about the problems at hand.
  • On the paper slip, participants jot down solutions.
  • Allocate a specific amount of time for each situation you are attempting to solve.
  • Distribute paper slips among the participants.
  • Compile all of the participants' ideas for each problem you are trying to solve.
  • Eliminate participants' duplicate views.
  • The management team evaluates the feasibility of implementing each participant's idea.

After the brainstorming session, you can collect all the ideas and express gratitude to everyone for their time. Then, compile all the data. You can capture the data into a spreadsheet to easily organise, consolidate, and review all responses.

Conduct a follow-up meeting to present the paper slip writing process results and solicit feedback from participants.

What are the Advantages of Using a Simple Brainstorming Methodology?

There are several advantages to using paper slips to generate ideas. The following are some of the primary reasons for using the paper slips methodology:

  • By jotting down ideas, everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard, which is not always the case in a traditional meeting. 
  • The method is quite versatile, as the process can address both general and specific issues.
  • It is a more time-efficient method of collecting ideas than an open brainstorming session where people talk over one another.
  • After the meeting, there is adequate time to review all of the ideas, allowing you to gain a clear picture of your organisation's participants' perspectives.

The paper slips writing is an excellent process to add to your toolbox of creative techniques. All organisations require a high level of creativity to thrive. Paper slips writing is an effective method of promoting creativity throughout your organisation.

Many employees appreciate the organised, focused format provided by paper slips writing sessions. Since the brainstorming sessions do not drag on for hours, try the paper slips writing methodology, as you will likely be impressed with the results.

Conclusion

The process of paper slips writing is an effective brainstorming methodology in its simplest form. The paper slips writing process begin with participants receiving paper slips to jot down their thoughts.

When the meeting commences, outline the issues or topics you are discussing and the time allotment for each. For instance, if you intend to address three specific questions, you could allocate fifteen minutes to each for a total meeting duration of forty-five minutes.

The paper slips are collected when the process is complete, and the management team reviews the ideas. It is a methodology designed to assist you in gathering many ideas from a large number of people.

The benefits of this methodology ensure that you are hearing from everyone equally. It can address both general and specific issues, and it is a significant time-efficient process.

How to Plan, Start or Grow Your Business Strategically?

Would you like to take your business to the next level? If so, you require a strategy and a roadmap.

The book Financial Times Essential Guide to Developing a Business Strategy: How to Use Strategic Planning to Start Up or Grow Your Business satisfies that need. 

It outlines a simple strategy development process known as the 'Strategy Pyramid' and guides you through it with an engaging central case study. It draws on examples of how real businesses have developed winning strategies. Whether you are looking to expand your organisation or launch a new business, this book guides you through creating the plan necessary for your business to succeed.

The book guides you in several areas, including:

The Financial Times Essential Guide to Developing a Business Strategy will assist organisations of all sizes plan and achieve their growth objectives.

How to Automate and Simplify the Strategic Business Planning Process?

Do you want to automate the strategic business planning process in your organisation?

When you systemise the business planning process in your organisation, you can monitor how well you are achieving your financial and operational goals. You can easily track the progress against your company's strategic objectives by using a business management system. The business management system can help keep you and your staff accountable for accomplishing your organisational goals.

Disclaimer

This article does not constitute legal, business, financial, or accounting advice. All readers must seek the assistance of qualified professionals as required. If you use our affiliate link to purchase a product, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

 

Author:Melinda Stevenson
About: Dynamic Zenergy provides specialist business advisory consulting services. Our mission is to accelerate your business growth by increasing your revenue streams and profitability. We help you in systemising, automating and improving processes by leveraging business management software and outsourcing services so that your organisation can thrive and to maximise the return when exiting/selling the business.
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