What is business innovation? (Definition, types and careers)

Life has been a whirlwind for the chairman and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. He famously launched the ubiquitous social media website while he was still in college and later dropped out to fully focus on its development. The site now has well in excess of one billion users, and its 2013 revenue topped over $6 billion. Zuckerberg has some exciting methods of generating ideas and fostering innovation within his company. For example, Facebook stages “hack-a-thons” in which engineers work all night creating anything they like. Moreover, in 2013 the CEO announced his groundbreaking plan to get the whole world online through the foundation of “The richest 500 million have way more money than the next 6 billion combined,” Zuckerberg said. His solution: “Getting everyone online… by building out the global internet.”

most innovative business leaders

What is business innovation? (Definition, types and careers)

Innovation is a common concept among businesses that allows them to adapt to market changes, build their brand and increase revenue. There are many ways in which organisations of all sizes can approach innovation, for example, by modernising their processes or improving their products. Learning about common types of innovation in business can help you determine what changes you want to implement to help your department or employer thrive. In this article, we explain what’s business innovation, discuss its importance and provide information about key technologies and careers that fuel innovation within companies.

Business innovation is the process of introducing new processes, services or products within organisations. The primary goal of an innovation of this type is to inspire positive changes that can happen internally, for example, to increase that company’s revenue. When a company invests its resources, such as people or money, towards innovation, it can improve its market value, create a better environment for growth and boost employee productivity.

Reed Hastings – Netflix

In 2020, Netflix progressed exceptionally well under the leadership of CEO Reed Hastings, who co-founded the company as a mail order movie rental business in 1998. Over the years, Netflix has, of course, evolved into an on-demand internet streaming company. In 2013 the firm saw its stock triple, and in September the same year it counted a whopping 40.4 million subscribers. This ascent may well be due, at least in part, to one of Hastings’ most successful innovations: in 2013 he launched original TV shows Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on Netflix, to much acclaim. Some industry experts have noted that people are turning their backs on cable since they can get their favorite shows on Netflix and elsewhere on the web. “Hastings could be the successor to [Steve] Jobs as the model in Silicon Valley for how to innovate,” said Paul Carroll of consulting company The Devil’s Advocate Group.

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp – LEGO

Many kids love playing with LEGOs, and plenty of adults have happy memories of building with the multicolored bricks in their own childhoods. Still, not so long ago, in 2004, the future of LEGO looked bleak because the company was bleeding money and seemed out of touch. In October 2004, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp became LEGO’s CEO and completely reorganized the firm and changed its culture. LEGO’s sales are now increasing by 24 percent each year, and profits have soared annually by 40 percent. The company has also introduced a range of licensed kits, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story and Star Wars. And with a new LEGO movie due to be released in 2014 starring Hollywood royalty like Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell, LEGO’s star has never burned brighter.

The Role of Lean Innovation

Collier recommends companies start with a hypothesis: “I have this new customer and here’s the problem I’m solving for him or her,” for example. From there, employees can start to test those key assumptions using different ideation and marketing techniques to gather customer insights, such as surveying. That customer feedback can then be leveraged to develop a pilot or prototype that can be used to measure the team’s assumptions. If the first idea doesn’t work, companies can more easily pivot and test a new hypothesis.

The choice to pursue product, process, or business model innovation will largely depend on the company’s customer and industry. Executives running a product firm, for example, need to constantly think about how they plan to innovate their product.

Innovation Doesn’t Always Come Easy

While the examples above demonstrate that innovation is an important part of running a business, it’s also clear that it doesn’t always come easy. Corporate history is littered with examples of companies that were unable to innovate when they needed to the most.

Learning the fundamentals of how businesses and industries change will prove to be instrumental in enabling you to carry out your own initiatives. Assess and dissect the successes and failures of businesses in the past, and learn how to apply these valuable lessons to your own challenges.

About Lauren Landry

Related Articles

3 Types of Innovation Changing the Future of Business

3 Types of Innovation Changing the Future of Business
3 Reasons an Estate Planning Career Might Be for You

How to Become A More Empathetic Leader

How to Become A More Empathetic Leader

Be In-Demand