Most of us are able to spot truly innovative products or services when they enter the market. It’s a classic case of – I know it when I see it. When these innovations become evident to CEOs and company leaders, it often spurs an impulse to follow that market leader and replicate something similar in hopes of not falling behind. That’s a reaction and not a strategy, and that reaction highlights this reality:
- Companies too often react to market opportunities instead of defining them; and
- Most companies have no idea how to approach innovation, let alone create an entirely new product or service that their customers are desiring and willing to pay for.
THE INNOVATION CHALLENGE
This is a problem that has lacked a clear-cut and disciplined solution for companies to follow, and it’s why we find ourselves with data points like these:
- 93 percent of CEOs agree that digital transformation is a strategic priority for their organization; yet
- Only 1 in 4 CEOs claim to be highly confident in having the right workforce and skills needed for the future; and
- Just 9 percent of U.S. companies are doing any kind of serious innovation
Because innovation is a process and not event, it can be learned, applied, and repeated to help any company grow. But they still need someone to help them cultivate the right environment, teach the process, and collaborate with them from start to finish.
A TEACHABLE, REPEATABLE APPROACH TO GROWTH IS NEEDED
For this reason, we’ve created the Greenhaus Method – an approach that is applicable to any organization.
The Greenhaus Method is built around three practical pillars – establishing the right place, employing the right process, and engaging the right people. Getting these three components right is what leads not only to transforming your company and its culture, but learning how to innovate repeatedly.
Some of the biggest challenges for organizations that want to transform include creating a space, dedicating the time, and allocating an appropriate budget. Innovation is hard enough, but without a disciplined approach it is unlikely to realize a desired return on investment. Add to that the recurring cost of cultivating new ideas from scratch with outside help, and you can see why serious innovation hardly ever takes root.
The Greenhaus Method is an approach where companies can learn a proven process for innovating and problem solving (human-centered design or HCD). Once it is learned, companies can apply it over and over on their own, pulling in specialized expertise only where needed. This process knowledge alone has an ROI that saves companies tens of thousands of dollars when embarking on any new endeavor they want to pursue.
WHY A GREENHOUSE?
A greenhouse is simply an incubator for growth, and the growth analogy works the same for plants as it does business transformation. The process of seeds growing into mature plants or ideas being tested until they become innovative products or services is the same – the right environment to grow, a proven process to inhibit growth, and skilled people to make it happen.
Innovation is a fuzzy buzzword. It can mean different things to different people. But if companies are serious about growing their business, about tapping into its full creative potential, and defining its future rather than taking what comes, then a new process to realize that growth is needed. Chances are every company already has some seeds and initial ideas for what’s next. They just need a place and process which to bring them to life and see them flourish.