The world is changing, and customer expectations are evolving. So, innovation is the heartbeat of customer experience. But how do you innovate?
Innovation, the late Peter Drucker points out in his landmark book, The Discipline of Innovation, is the “effort to create purposeful, focused change in an enterprise’s economic or social potential.” He adds that it’s different than other disciplines. You hire accountants for accounting, marketers for marketing, and lawyers for your legal department. But where are your innovators? Your employees! Innovation comes not from genius or exceptional talent, Drucker concludes, but from a “conscious, purposeful search for innovative opportunities.”
The challenge is, many employees see innovation as risky. In some cases, it’s shot down subtly. Mention a new idea, and your manager might respond with a question: “Isn’t our service level under some pressure right now?” Or an unconvincing “Sounds good, we’ll have to take a look.” A colleague might snicker, “We’ve never done it THAT way.” In many cases, the organization’s top leadership is fully committed to innovation—but they are unaware of how it plays out with managers, supervisors and employees in the ranks.
Innovation is a cool word, but at its heart is change. So you have to be intentional about encouraging and enabling innovation. Your goal should be universal participation in product and service innovation.
Learn more about five keys to encouraging innovation in a recent The Edge of Service® Newsletter.