In business, innovation is on everyone’s lips. But, how does this concept materialize in business? The answer here.
Innovation is the buzzword in the business world . Today, companies, big and small, invest time and money in order to generate new ideas and ways of doing things. How is this concept deployed in business? Find answers to these questions here.
The evolution of the concept of business innovation
If the word “innovation” evokes an image of scientists and inventors in lab coats in a research laboratory, today it represents much more than this conception. Although important, R&D is not the only source of innovation within a company. Indeed, every day, entrepreneurs are revolutionizing not only their products and services, but also their working methods and ways of doing things.
According to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), innovation refers to “an imaginative way of dealing with change. More specifically, in addition to Research and Development, it aims to generate new ideas, improve processes or renew products and services. Finally, innovation is also a corporate philosophy. With this mindset, continuous improvement and creativity are at the center of the values conveyed and shared within the organization.
Innovation in Canada in numbers
Innovation is a key driver of economic development in Canada. The 2019 Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy (SIBS) conducted by Statistics Canada found that over the period 2017 to 2019, approximately 80% of Canadian businesses reported employing practices and innovative strategies. Here are some interesting statistics from this survey:
– Large companies were more likely to be innovative (85.8%) than smaller companies (79%).
– Ontario had the highest proportion of innovative firms in the country.
– The sectors whoseAmong the highest innovation rates were respectively the professional, scientific and technical services sector (89.1%), the information and cultural industry sector (88.8%), and that of wholesale trade (83.3%).
– The majority of innovations were aimed at operational processes (72.7%).
– Only 1 in 5 entrepreneurs collaborated with other businesses or organizations in innovation activities.
– Three companies out of 10 have used government programs to support their innovation activities.
-More than half of Canadian businesses said they face barriers to innovation , primarily lack of skills and uncertainty and risk.
Why is innovation important?
A question then arises: why do Canadian companies think it is important to innovate? More than 25 years ago, John Baldwin, a researcher at Statistics Canada, already stated that innovation-related activities are the most important success factor for Canadian small and medium-sized businesses, ahead of management, human resources , marketing and finance. This statement still applies to the current context.
In short, innovation enables organizations to improve their competitiveness, ensure their sustainability, stand out in the market, stand out against their competitors, increase their turnover and reduce their costs. , improve their productivity and more. These are all good reasons to cultivate innovation within a company!
Types of business innovation
Innovation can be deployed in different spheres within a company. Overall, there are 3 types of innovation: technological, marketing and organizational.
– Technological innovation : this type of innovation aims to create a revolutionary technological response. – Marketing
innovation : this involves creating differentiation based on one or more pillars of the marketing mix (product, price, communication, distribution). – Organizational innovation : it is linked to the creation of new processes, working methods and ways of doing things.
How to stimulate innovation within your company
Are you an entrepreneur and would you like to implement innovation activities within your organization? The BDC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) , the federal agency in charge of stimulating innovation in Canada, are excellent places to start. Their websites are overflowing with information and practical resources on the subject.
Here are the major steps to implement innovation in your company:
1. Take stock of your ability to innovate
This initial step is crucial for the success of your innovation project. It aims to assess the creativity of your business and identify how you can improve it. This involves establishing a list of areas for improvement to create an innovation portfolio. An expert innovation advisor can help you determine your ability to innovate.
2. Define your challenge
After having carried out a complete introspection on the creativity of your company and having determined your capacity to innovate, you must choose and define an axis of innovation. Would you like to revisit a product or service that is experiencing little success? Do you want to improve your production process? To make a decision, you can conduct market research, identify problems and opportunities, and study new technologies.