Blog – Get your head out the sand |nlighten

Innovation is everything today. That might be a bold statement, but if you are paying attention to the world around you, you’ll agree. It starts with leaders who understand the need to challenge the status quo and disrupt their own assumptions to create a business that lasts. Leaders today understand that business is changing, so thinking laterally has never been more important.

Critical concepts:

#1 Create the Culture

Innovative leaders understand the need to continually disrupt, question and create. They are building cultures that thrive on a holistic view of thinking, doing and communicating and in this manner encourage a culture of innovation by creating an environment that supports it. The bottom line is that it starts with leadership.

#2 Build Collaborative Communities

The collaboration economy is a movement, a change in the relationship between customers and companies. Led by “billion-dollar babies” like Uber, AirBnB, Etsy, Alibaba and Facebook, customers like you and I are no longer just consumers, we are also producers and distributors.

A recent study of 90,000 people in three countries revealed that over 40% of us are already using companies in this new economy – and this number is set to double in the next 12 months.

What exactly is driving the enormous growth of the collaborative economy? It’s sharing. People aren’t just buying from you, but also from one another – and sharing their experiences along the way.

In the same way that social media enables content to be shared, technologies in the collaborative economy enable peer-to-peer sharing at a speed and scale that were unimaginable a decade ago.

So, success in the collaborative economy focuses on customer relationships and the technology that you choose enables you to create a personal, relevant and unforgettable experience for them. Your target is to land on the homepage of your customer’s desktop which is prime real estate.

#3 Get rid of Toxic Assumptions

Toxic assumptions = innovation inertia, your company’s inability to innovate due to existing assumptions based on the way you currently do business.

These assumptions are based on ideas that (your) business of tomorrow will look like (your) business of today. Toxic assumptions generally go unchallenged in an environment that doesn’t innovate and stands in the way of future growth. To avoid innovation inertia, you have to continually challenge your own toxic assumptions.

It’s not about changing everything all at once, but the first step is to get your head out the sand and start embracing the change, one innovation at a time.

View another nlighten article by Nathalie Schooling: How Customer Experience Impacts Bottom Line Growth

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