Gone are the days when “innovation” or “disruptions” were just fancy jargon thrown around without any purpose. Yesterday was the time when innovation was good and not a must-have. Gone are the days when you could overlook enterprise innovation initiatives and functions without allocating dedicated resources.
Constant Digital Disruption, Innovation, and Advancement
In the era of constant digital disruption and advancement, innovation is the most critical thing organizations can do to thrive. Pick any successful organization, from Apple to Toyota or from Walmart to Microsoft; their performance can be credited to having practices that ensure continuous innovation and stay relevant.
According to an Accenture study, companies are increasingly becoming invested in creation, with 62% of high-growth companies planning to invest in technologies that lead to higher rates of innovation study.
While employees are often inspired by success stories and case studies of triumphant innovation tales of large companies, the cost of not innovating is often overlooked.
Sharing the stories of organizational failure due to a lack of enterprise innovation can create a sense of urgency in employees and make them understand the stakes. Let’s dive into these stories.
Don’t get us wrong, Nokia was one of the first innovators in the cellular world, being the first to create a cellular network. There was a time when Nokia enjoyed almost a monopoly-like status and seemed like a company that was here to stay.
However, the overestimation of their brand value led them into trouble. When the industry faced the introduction of smartphones, Nokia did not pay much attention to this disruption. Nokia took its own sweet time arriving at the smartphone race, assuming that its brand would be enough for them to get ahead of the competition. But it was too late — and both Apple and Android had already dug Nokia’s grave.
Lessons for Organizations: Take pride in your brand, but don’t get so enamored by your success that you fail to catch on to industry trends and become obsolete.
Always remember that the success of today will not translate into tomorrow’s success unless proactive steps are taken to ensure innovation.
Blockbuster is a classic example of how complacent management can lead to a business’s downfall. There was a time when Blockbuster rolled in enormous profits from its massive chain of stores. Rental subscriptions and late fees were the main drivers of revenue for the organization.
Blockbuster missed multiple opportunities to innovate. They ignored the rising potential for DVDs and chose to stick with the bulky old VHS. Blockbuster needed to recognize the importance of providing content to their customers from the comfort of their homes. They had a model such that customers had to make two trips (to purchase and return) for any VHS.
Ironically, the founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings, made an offer to Blockbuster to buy out Netflix for $50 million in 2000. The deal could not materialize — and now the situation is such that the success of Netflix was one of the primary reasons behind the bankruptcy of Blockbuster.
Lessons for Organizations: While it is difficult to act upon and leverage every innovative trend in the industry, it is essential not to miss out on all of them. Listen to your customers, keep an eye on the competition, embrace all the new innovations you can — and act before it is too late.
There was a time when Yahoo was the “it” thing, an absolute online giant. It was a leader in the online advertising market, and then it did not face any competition from Google or Facebook. However, Yahoo’s folly lay in thinking it would be the leader forever without innovation.
Blinded by its advertising revenue, Yahoo let customer experience take a backseat. It kept changing its interface frequently, up to the point that its users struggled to get used to it. In 1998, Google founders were ready to sell it to Yahoo for USD one million — but Yahoo refused the opportunity.
The consequences of this are well known to us today. To learn more about Yahoo, we search on Google. Yahoo had the opportunity to acquire Google — but didn’t take that critical chance. As well, Yahoo didn’t care to build a robust search engine feature on its platform.
Lessons for Organizations: Customers need to be at the center of all enterprise innovation, and their satisfaction should be the Number One Priority. Also, organizations should be aware that some opportunities, when not capitalized, may end up bankrupting the organization someday.
Xerox realized that its copier business was decreasing in profitability and started facing competition from Canon and Ricoh — it recognized the importance of innovation.
Xerox came up with the vision of “Office of the Future” and invented the “Xerox Star,” the first-ever personal computer. However, the product was ahead of its time. Its price point and features were way above the requirements of the time, leading to the invention’s failure.
In some ways, Xerox valued innovation and created something futuristic. However, they pursued the wrong market leading to short-term failures, then failed to recognize the long-term potential of the innovation they had.
A decade later, hardware prices declined, making the PC business extremely lucrative. Xerox had invested in Apple, which led to Steve Jobs having access to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center.
In PARC, Jobs developed Mac using available technology and went on to realize the potential of his invention.
Lessons for Organizations: Just innovating is not enough; companies also need to believe in the process and support the outcomes of innovation to realize its full potential.
What should be your next step in Enterprise Innovation?
Leaders need to ensure that they do not make these mistakes and that an innovation mindset drives their organization. Such a mindset allows for continuous innovation, keeping updated with customer trends, and being aware of the various disruptions in the industry.
Adopting digital platforms and practices that bring about digital transformation in organizations is essential for innovation. Multiple tools and technology available can enable innovation in organizations, no-code software development being a pioneer in them.
Application Development Activity
According to Gartner, 65% of application development activity will be carried out through low-code no-code platforms. There are over 7000 mobile app development companies building mobile apps at present.
No-code allows for application development in record time without writing a single line of code. It provides for process automation and business users to make custom solutions for their problems.
No-code helps to increase employee bandwidth as employees spend less time doing redundant work and focus on meaningful pursuits, and enterprise innovation flourishes.
What is your next innovation?