In today’s highly competitive and unexpected market, it’s important for your company to invest in innovative practices and opportunities to not only rise above the competition, but to delight customers and create a business dynamic that positively impacts how your organization operates in the long run.
In my experience, I’ve seen companies with great employees and incredible ideas create a plan that unknowingly limits their ability to pivot from a “big idea” to a better idea. Instead of exploring concepts that’ll help them get to a great result more efficiently, they remain locked in on outdated goals that no longer support creating truly impactful and meaningful digital products. This can become a vicious cycle of meeting mediocre baseline expectations, and that’s the last thing that we want in our business. You may wonder why this happens so often. I’ve asked myself the same thing, so here are a few thoughts on how we can avoid this pattern.
Don’t Avoid Pursuing an Innovative Idea because it Might be More Work Upfront
Companies may be hesitant to support a new concept simply because their current infrastructure or approach won’t support the idea today. They may balk because of perceived difficulty with extra work that seems too hard to maintain or doesn’t fit into their current process. Most times this is just a shortsighted fear that masks the real risk of never pushing beyond the mediocre.
But when companies take the leap and invest in research and innovation, they create the potential to discover impactful products that can bring true value to their customers and business.
Good UX Means Good Business
In a world where technology is rapidly advancing and user expectations are rising, it’s no longer enough to have an average user experience; to delight your users and surpass your competition you must strive for the exceptional.
Other benefits of this approach include:
- Establishing an emotional connection with their consumers – The goal is to have the customer feel like the product they’ve purchased is part of who they are as a person.
- Strengthens their organizational infrastructure and philosophy – Companies want their employees, no matter where they belong in the company, to know that innovation can be fostered from just about anywhere in the organization.
- Creates the opportunity to differentiate from the competition and stand out from the crowd.
These are all great benefits, but the more important question to ask now is, “how do you become an innovative organization?” The answer is much closer than most businesses are aware of.
Invest in Your People’s Voices & Make Room for Innovative Thinking
- Defining processes for generating new digital customer experience (CX) ideas – Doing so allows teams within an organization to voice their different approaches to a problem or an opportunity and creates a real roadmap for innovative thinking to be realized.
- Create processes and systems to test ideas with consumers – These systems allow there to be a direct voice from the consumer regarding their perspective and feedback about a product.
- Focus on exhibiting strong brand consistency across multiple touch-points – Creating one unified voice benefits the organization both internally and externally.
Your employees are the first place to begin. Start with identifying a problem and dedicate a small, but diverse team whose end goal is to conceptualize and iterate on their ideas to get the most potential for an innovative solution.
Allow this team to lead brainstorming sessions and workshops that promote blue-sky thinking without any initial limiting restrictions. Asking open-ended questions like, “If we could do anything we wanted, what would we do?” Next, select a few of those ideas based on potential and feasibility. Then put together a plan with the shortest, most executable steps that can be done quickly and with little budget. Think wireframing and rapid prototyping. Test these MVPs as soon as possible with your customers. Finally, evaluate that feedback, evolve the idea, and repeat the process improving the product in an agile way with each iteration. You’ll almost certainly end up with a better product than trying to predict what innovation will be like in the next year or always setting goals based simply on what your competitors are doing.
That’s All it Really Takes
To be blunt, if you want to transform into an innovative organization, then it must become your top priority. Change is scary, but it’s inevitable. Companies who embrace these new shifts and dedicate themselves to reaching greater heights will become forward-thinking organizations committed to evolving every day. One last note, embrace failure. There’s no way to get better or be better until you understand what went wrong in the first place. For more information, contact our experience design experts today.