Innovation Through Technology – The Innovation Dilemma
Technology is always evolving.
No technology remains at a standstill and in today’s digital economy, speed matters.
Here Trevor McClintock, entrepreneur and change agent, discusses whether innovation through technology benefits or hinders a business.
Impact of technology
With today’s pace of life constantly speeding up and facilitated through what seems to be an endless use of smartphones, tablets and other devices, we expect everything to be readily available.
Customers expect products at the click of a button.
Employees expect emails to be read and answered immediately.
But could this ability to do business anytime and anywhere in fact be disruptive?
Yes, when leading a business there is tremendous scope to use technology and be proactive in identifying how it can be used to create value, but could this technological takeover in fact make us lose sight of a business’s core values and miss out on potential waves of innovation?
Queue the innovation dilemma.
Surely advancements in technology will only create value for a business?
Technology allows us to stay connected.
Connected with our employees, our customers, our clients as well as staying aware of what’s happening in the market as and when it happens.
From an internal business perspective, technology allows us to gather data and see what’s going on in all areas of a business.
From the early research and planning stages, development strategy, marketing, sales through to distribution and evaluation, being able to identify and explore how each stage is working will enable you to seek new business opportunities.
So, what’s the problem?
As mentioned, technology is always evolving.
And as new high-technologies emerge (and the challenges that co-exist with it) businesses should adapt accordingly.
But if companies should fail to adopt a new technology that has the potential for revolutionising an industry would they fall behind?
If companies put too much emphasis on their current needs and what their mainstream audience wants without addressing future needs, disruptive innovation may occur.
Innovation expert Clayton Christenson addresses this innovation dilemma in his bestselling book.
In The Innovator’s Dilemma, Christenson states that the innovation dilemma stems from the idea that if a business rejects an innovation based on their current needs, the potential will go to waste.
Christenson calls the anticipation of future needs “disruptive innovation.”
This disruptive innovation is the idea that if a new product/service creates a new market it could disrupt an existing market.
This has the potential consequence of causing damage for established market companies, their products and associations.
But, it’s important to take note that not all innovations are disruptive if they are revolutionary.
No matter the business or the industry, whether you’re a local store or a blog providing affiliate deals, a successful company needs proficient management to use innovation proactively.
Knowing how and when to use traditional, digital strategy or even a combination of both is extremely important.
When under threat from disruptive innovation, a manager needs to take charge of this technological revolution by doing the following:
Create an agenda
Stay up to date with the latest trends in technology, insights and offerings available for your business.
Identify what the implications could be should you decide to make use of them.
Collaborate with your employees and develop a business and technology schedule.
While creating this vision take the time to identify any weaknesses in the existing strategy which could be benefitted from a business-technology collaboration.
Trial and error
Keep things simple.
First trial innovative practices.
Some innovations will work and some wont.
This is extremely important in any development strategy to secure the best technology innovation service for your business
Innovation shouldn’t be picked up as and when.
Regular collaboration with your team can help spark innovation and as a leader, it’s important to assert a disciplinary force to combine innovation and business changes across the entire organisation.
Although in a fast-paced technologically driven environment we are faced with an innovation dilemma, I hope that this has given you an insight how technology can assist your business.
If you have any further questions or want to share your thoughts, then get in touch; or leave a comment below.