The Top 3 Ways to Keep Pace with Innovation

Evan Klein

Chatbots, blockchain, machine learning, connected clouds, internet of things, microservices.

Disruption is everywhere, and innovation is at the forefront.

For most businesses, digital transformation is a top priority. When I say this, people immediately think of technology platform implementations, migrations, and integrations. And it’s true – technology is a huge driver behind digital transformation.

But keeping pace with innovation goes beyond technology, and includes specific practices and mindsets.

It’s a lot – managing processes that work, coming up with new ideas to make things work better, keeping abreast of disruption across various industries. How can an organization keep pace with innovation without losing themselves in the mix?

Here are three ways businesses can keep pace with innovation.

Don’t settle for what everyone else is doing.

One of my favorite things about being in the industry of digital transformation is working with our clients. As advisories, we lead strategic benchmarking and roadmap sessions with executives, and an important step in the process is a competitive analysis. We ask what competitors are doing that our clients should be doing as well. Then, we go one step further: what are clients’ competitors not doing that would make life easier for their customers?

No one knew that the taxi industry wasn’t optimized until Lyft and Uber came along. And everyone relied on hotels until AirBnB started.

Bottom line: If it’s broke, fix it. And if it’s not broke – well, take a good look at it anyway. With so many tools and technology at our fingertips, settling for the status quo is, simply put, not an acceptable option. Some of today’s most innovative products and services are solutions to problems that we never realized existed … until we had a better option.

Validate your ideas with customers.

If you’re into podcasts, I listened to an interesting episode on This American Life a few weeks back about magicians. Yes, magicians. The story talked about the art of mastering a magic trick, and followed one magician with a great idea – or so he thought. When the magician presented the trick to a sample audience, the trick fell flat. Initially disappointed, he quickly learned that by collecting audience feedback, he was better positioned to perfect his show.

Finally, after a year of practicing and validating his trick with the audience, he delivered innovation.

The moral of the story is that not every idea is a great idea. Soliciting feedback from peers and customers can help you fine-tune innovation, or perhaps uncover other needs and challenges where new ideation is required.

Implementation isn’t the end.

I always like to say that businesses don’t have finish lines. Once you’ve implemented a great idea, innovation must continue for a business to keep up with changing market demands.

At my company, we achieve this through our continuous innovation delivery model. When we implement disruptive ideas, we commit to ongoing releases thereafter. This methodology allows our clients to bring an MVP to market faster and then proactively identify changing customer needs and innovate via iterative changes.

Committed to innovation? Download a recording of our latest webinar. The session will discuss disruption, digital transformation, and how your company can stay committed to innovation.

Businesses don’t have finish lines. Learn how Zaelab will be a growth catalyst for your organization.