In my experience, innovation is often misunderstood. It is frequently seen as relating only to what a business takes to market. Of equal importance is the application of how a business is run.
Tapping into innovation can be a crucial process for improving the internal workings of enterprises. As entrepreneurs, we get sucked into working in the business, but forget about working on the business. At Iridia Medical, our Ideal Client Journey framework has been instrumental in helping us work behind the scenes to be highly intentional about how we deliver client experiences.
Streamlining and enhancing a business’s structures need not entail dramatic changes or special programmes to achieve this. In reality, even the most minor change can unlock tremendous value if done intentionally. A working example of this approach: patients leaving our medical clinic will soon be given a summary of their consult with key points, prescribed medications, and follow up steps. This is a simple measure to implement with powerful and highly appreciated effects.
Innovation is ideally enabled through reflection. A proven method of this approach is revisiting successes and failures to identify potential outcomes that can provide natural opportunities for innovation. I use a reflection tool and encourage all Iridians to similarly fill one out to assess the success or learnings from their experiences.
Understanding your motivation behind innovation is critical for it to be successful. Innovation should be practised with purpose. The business battlefield is strewn with examples of ill-envisioned projects, wasted capital and resources depleted in the name of pet innovation projects untethered to actual need.
My three most successful innovation tips for fellow entrepreneurs:
1) Find Quality Listening Posts:
Keep your eyes and ears tuned wide and far for innovative inspiration. Go beyond your local geography, industry, AND even your current time period: smart folks of the past have already solved issues we still struggle with today.
2) Start Small and Start Now:
Channel your inner Ship of Theseus and start small with small innovation efforts that you can embed today and keep at it – the dividends will be substantive.
3) Tie into your Client Experience:
Map out your client experience visually in mini steps and wow your customers by making tiny enhancements at every step. The sum impression will yield a highly memorable journey with your company.
Vern Biccum is President of Iridia Medical, a unique collection of people passionate about Enabling Peace of Mind for people called upon to respond to medical emergencies. Equal parts scientist, entrepreneur, and boundless thinker, Vern’s unique ability is assessing opportunities and designing simple and creative solutions to crystallize the end game and inspire others toward achieving it.