Innovation: It’s Not Just For Startups

Innovation… talk about a buzzword! Generally, innovation is associated with scrappy start-ups – but large corporations can (and must) innovate to stay alive in our progressing digital world. Technology is driving change across most industries, so businesses, small and large, must foster an environment that promotes creativity.

Larger corporations often get overly focused on cost-reduction, but the reality is that cost-reduction can only do so much for the success of a company if it’s competition is innovating new products, services and strategies that are winning revenue from their larger competition. No matter what size, innovation puts companies on the offensive – and that’s when they score.

Smaller start-ups live and breathe the innovation culture. That’s their only chance at success. But larger companies have to take a step back to create a culture that stimulates creativity. A few strategies for fostering innovation are outlined in an article on the Optus blog. “An important part of innovation is creativity – businesses that foster and use creativity are more likely to be innovative.” Leaders must lead the charge in encouraging creativity throughout the workplace. They must clearly communicate it's importance and reward those who provide creative suggestions for innovation.

In an article on McKinsey & Company, Intuit, Idealab and Autodesk leaders discussed their approach to innovation within their large corporations.  Intuit’s Scott Cook said they are moving from their old ways for decision-making to a new process: decision by experiment. Idealab’s Bill Gross stressed the importance of providing equity stakes so that they can act like entrepreneurs within an established corporation. And Autodesk’s Carl Bass promoted taking risks by saying, “The threat of somebody doing something is one of the biggest tools you have to motivate, encourage, scare people into taking risks they wouldn’t otherwise do.”

These are examples of leaders creating an environment that stimulates innovation. But how do leaders allow themselves the flexibility to think about the “bigger picture” and disseminate their message throughout the entire organization? Crawford Group empowers leaders to focus on changing the world by creating teams that come in and handle the day-to-day marketing activities. Our varying service models allow companies to outsource projects or entire functions of marketing so that their internal teams can dedicate themselves to innovation. We also offer one-to-one consulting options in which companies can bring in industry experts from our experienced talent pool who offer fresh ideas without utilizing any HR budget. Learn more about our service offerings here.

So what’s the takeaway? Innovation is important. Actually, it’s beyond important; it’s necessary. And the road to continuous innovation must be paved by the leaders of the company, small or large. We can help leaders put the best marketing talent in place to handle their day-to-day execution so their internal teams can continue to focus on innovation.

Hiring, Innovation, Leadership, Strategy

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