When you call your next assembly, staff meeting or write a directors’ newsletter, stick something with ‘innovation’ in the title and it’s expected to grab the attention and get everyone buzzing.

If it’s nothing else, innovation is definitely a buzz word.

Reactions to new ideas vary. There’s ‘we’ve seen it all before’; there’s ‘it’ll never happen’; and there’s the more quizzical ‘why does anything need to change?’ And if there’s one question we hear more often than any other, it’s ‘why?

The answer is two-sided.

1 WHY? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

It can be hard to imagine that anything needs to change when the company’s doing well, your product is in demand, and money is rolling in.

Our stance is simple. Great – enjoy it while you can. It can’t last forever.

For CSuite guys trying to reassure stakeholders that their investment is in good hands, this can be an uncomfortable perspective. Even thinking about change tends to give the short-term mind of a VC the wobbles. So, be honest, know more than the VC, value the business and future-proof it.

2 Innovation is a flexible term and doesn’t mean the product needs to change completely.

The option is to keep your core values and innovate around the edges.

Example: toothbrushes have looked like toothbrushes since they were first invented. Yet, bristle technology and timers have been developed and toothpastes now sit in the same aisle alongside mouthwashes, tongue brushes, floss, tape, picks and other dental accessories.

Look at Porsche: that car hasn’t changed in outline since the 1960s, but everything under the skin has – and I mean everything. Tyre technology, traction control, fly-by-wire, injections systems, suspension management, lane change alerts, assisted cruise…

How most products start out is not how they end up. While the core function may remain exactly what it was at the outset, the way that it‘s achieved has changed. There are always ways to enhance or supplement your core business, and room44 helps get the process started. We audit your product range and present some ideas about where the market might be going.

This gives you an opportunity to see customer need from a new perspective and to consider what your team can deliver now, next and later. So, when you next sit down with the team and think about what you may have to do to stay relevant, remember: not everything has to change.

The room44 audit is a cost-efficient way to start innovating without scaring the pants off everybody you discuss innovation with, including your stakeholders and the CSuite.

Start by booking half an hour for a chat. Click here to book time in my diary. It’s free and won’t change anything, except your perception about innovation.

Future thinking. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.

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