How The ‘Business As Usual’ Mindset Is Killing Innovation

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Some businesses are so focused on their business processes they can’t innovate. Here’s why it’s bad and how you can change it.

Some companies just can’t be bothered to change. Chasing the bottom line, especially in the industries where margins are very low, may stop them from ever evolving into something bigger.

Here are 7 ways businesses’ mindsets prevent them from ever innovating.

#1 Taking Innovation Too Literally

The firsts thing is more about semantics than it is about the mindset, but it’s one of the major factors that prevent innovation. The problem is, businesses take it too literally.

Sure, few people would ever succeed with a business plan that sounds like “create a groundbreaking technology.” It’s just not commercially profitable. Creating something that would change the world as the Internet did is out of reach for most of us.

But you don’t have to become Elon Musk to make your company innovative. Innovation is about finding new ways to do things. It doesn’t have to be cutting-edge technology, it can be a new approach to customer service.

#2 Refusing To Keep Up With Society

Some companies don’t have a connection with what’s happening in society. The people who make decisions are 50-year-old millionaires, and the customers are middle-aged middle-class people. You can easily see there’s going to be a lack of understanding between the two.

Since the decision makers are out of touch with how people live these days, they can fail at keeping the business afloat quite miserably. This is why Amazon is killing retail stores right now.

The retail stores that have thousands of locations all over the world are shrinking because more and more people are buying online. The ones who didn’t predict this early enough are on the brink of extinction, and the ones that survived keep up by opening online stores.

#3 Assuming Technology Stays The Same

Society and our habits change. However, technology changes as well. Companies that base their performance on a single technology can be hit hard when that technology changes.

This is what happened to eCommerce stores that were misusing loopholes in Google algorithms. Once Google introduced the update that penalized websites that were exploiting the system instead of using the latest trends in digital marketing, they went under.

The same is happening with Uber and regular taxi services. Taxis just didn’t expect there to be a new way of doing things. Now, many cities stop the innovation that is Uber from spreading because of taxi companies’ strikes.

#4 Cutting On R&D To Get More Profits

Only a few companies can afford to have a huge R&D department to create new technology. If you’re not Google or Amazon, the odds are your profits don’t allow you to spend millions on cutting-edge development.

This is why most companies do not give enough budget for this cause. However, innovation can be rather cheap. Constantly analyzing your customers to see why they buy and how to make the service better for them is not too expensive, and it pays.

#5 Rejecting Ideas

While most ideas that get implemented come from the top down, many ideas that are rejected come from your employees. The majority of them might not be feasible, but sometimes, there’s a diamond in the mud.

Treating your employees’ ideas with respect and investigating them further can help you change the way your company works for the better.

#6 Refusing To Learn

Not all innovation is created by your company. For some areas of your business, the innovation is already there. All you have to do is to accept it.

However, many businesses refuse to get on board with new technology that could increase their profits. It’s because of inertia. People at a company have been doing a thing in a particular way for many years, so they don’t see the point in learning anything new.

This is why many companies are slow to take on CRM systems, HR software, and smarter email automatization. These systems may challenge the way things are done in a company, and the whole team will have to adapt.

#7 Taking Customer Advice Instead Of Understanding Their Problem

Not all customers can understand what they really need to feel happy about the product. This is why asking them upfront is not always a great idea.

If Steve Jobs asked people what kind of phone would they like to have, Apple may never have developed iPhone. The same goes for small businesses both online and offline.

Study how your users behave and understand what problems do they have. This will help you to come up with innovative ways to solve them.


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