The ability to innovate is crucial for businesses, but where to begin? We have developed four dialogue mats on innovation that build awareness on the importance of innovation, increase knowledge about what innovation means, and outline the organisation’s current ability to innovate.
Why is innovation important?
There are multiple reasons as to why organisations should allocate resources to increasing knowledge on innovation:
- Competitive edge
Innovation can help small businesses gain competitive advantages in their sector. Through developing new and unique products, services, or business models, organisations can stand out and attract new customers and customer segments.
In today’s dynamic market, innovation is essential in order for businesses to stay relevant and adapt to new challenges and opportunities. Developing competence on innovation can help smaller organisations become more flexible and agile in responding to changing market conditions.
- Reducing costs
Innovation can lead to reduced costs by improving efficiency and productivity. Smaller businesses that innovate are able to reduce costs by finding new and better ways of doing things or by developing more efficient processes.
- Attracting new talents
Developing competence on innovation can help businesses attract and retain top talents. Innovation is regarded as an exciting and challenging area, and smaller organisations known for being innovative are considered as more attractive among highly qualified applicants.
How to improve the ability to innovate?
The organisation maintaining profitability and agility is primarily the responsibility of the management team, but the actual power and drive to develop and change lies with the employees. It is therefore important to involve the entire organisation in developing innovative ideas and identify new opportunities. At the same time, it is important to remember that all companies have different needs, depending on where they are in the innovation journey.
In collaboration with Innovation Norway, we have developed four dialogue mats, each addressing a distinct topic. The four dialogue mats can be used independently or as a multi-step process, depending on the organisation’s needs.
1. Drivers for innovation
This is the ‘basic training’, which provides a solid comprehension of why innovation is important, and the significant drivers behind it. This dialogue mat is suitable for those who have had limited exposure to innovation and need a gain fundamental insight and knowledge. It can be used internally within the company, or as a foundation for discussion and collaboration between businesses.
2. Collaboration towards innovation
This dialogue mat offers an overview of the ‘innovation system’, i.e., various support schemes, ways to organise productive developmental work, and identifying one’s status in the current environment. This topic is especially relevant when collaborating with other companies, or with local or regional business associations.
3. Areas for innovation
A significant barrier to innovation is the frequent limitation of only considering new ‘products’. Innovation includes every part of the value chain, not only the final product. This dialogue mat is particularly beneficial when a company needs a critical perspective on new potential business opportunities.
4. Innovation competency
Understanding one’s internal ability to innovate and innovation competency is key when prioritising business development areas.