Last year, I published a post entitled ‘The prize for the best buzzword goes to: Innovation’ in which I discussed my concept of ‘SIRII’ – ‘Small Improvements Regularly Is Innovation’. I recently came across an article written by Daniel Debow, senior vice-president at salesforce.com, which reiterates my points regarding SIRII, and how we can innovate in a variety of ways.
Disruptive innovation is viewed as the classic way small entrepreneurial businesses can overtake their well-established competitors. Big businesses focus on ‘sustaining innovation’; they upgrade existing popular products, improving them and adding new features to attract higher paying customers. Their downfall is ignoring the existing loyal customers who just want the same affordable product the business previously produced. This allows smaller businesses to jump in with low-cost alternatives, luring the big businesses’ old faithful customers away.
Disruptive innovation creates new markets and reshapes existing ones, but it is not the sole way businesses should be innovating.
SIRII is all about continuously improving. You can still be a ‘disruptor’ in business by making small, consistent changes. It doesn’t have to be a huge revolutionary change every time. To become truly innovative, you have to take risks. Make changes on a small scale to test them out. You’ll have failures and successes – it’s all part of the learning process in business.
Congratulate your team for coming up with new ideas, whether they end up working out or not. Inspire an innovative culture by celebrating new ideas and actions.
Innovation doesn’t always mean being the first
You can be an innovator without being a leader. Your business may not be the first in the world to do something, but you may be the first to think of an idea within your business. Innovation can be on this sort of smaller scale.
Don’t wait for the radical ‘big bang’. Think about the little daily things that can accumulate to make a massive difference to your business. You may find keeping a ‘diary of issues and/or ideas’ is useful. Each time you notice something in your working day that could be improved, jot it down. At the end of each week, chat with other team members about how you could go about bringing in any changes and ideas you’ve thought of. By always being on the lookout for what your business can do better, you can be constantly chipping away at innovation.
For me, SIRII is about reclaiming the word innovation. For too long innovation has become a buzzword and has come to mean only significant changes. For all of us who innovate in our business every day, SIRII allows us to do in a realistic and meaningful way.
I would be interested to hear thoughts on how you follow the SIRII formula in your business. Kindly provide your views and comments here and also connect with me via twitter: @SafarazAli
Safaraz (concept creator of SIRII)