What it means to be innovation-driven

During these difficult and turbulent economic times, organizations need to develop and maintain an innovation-driven mindset.
• Being tuned-in to industry trends and possessing a deep understanding of market needs and trendsThis means:
• Promoting and encouraging close collaboration between all stakeholders
• Leveraging social business technologies to facilitate and enhance innovation of all business processes
• Concentrating on improving product development and service delivery

Innovation-driven organizations are also highly customer-centered. They focus on gaining a competitive advantage by delivering the greatest value to the marketplace. These innovation-driven organizations understand and recognize that overall sustainable success is largely dependent on their ability to capture, manage and incorporate customer insight into the development process. By making customers the central focus of the innovation process and by using technology to gather and take action on dynamic market data, they can develop a customer centric mindset that positions them to be successful.

3 examples of innovation-driven organizations

The magazine Fast Company recently released a list of 50 of the most innovative companies over this past year. Though there are obvious exemplars like Apple and Facebook, I would like to discuss some of the less talked about organizations mentioned in this article and how their innovation-driven mindset led to their success.

Epocrates: At the click of a button on laptops and mobile devices, medical doctors and nurses can gain instant access to drug references that help them make better prescribing and administration decisions. This also allows medical practitioners to provide their patients with faster, more complete information about treatment options and more importantly improves the accuracy of their decisions and recommendations.

SynCardia. This company brought us the Artificial Heart, a fully functional and reliable device that can be used as a heart replacement. One of the drawbacks of this device is the lack of portability, because it is attached to a long wire. They are currently testing the Freedom Portable driver which allows heart patients to be mobile. Innovation-driven, this organization is definitely focused on customer needs.

Burberry. This long-time established brand successfully demonstrated its ability to innovate while remaining customer focused and became a true model of an innovation-driven company. Burberry, best known, since 1856 for its trademark checkered black, white and beige fashion designs completely revamped its clothing collection and took the company in a whole new direction.

“You have to be totally connected to everyone who touches your brand. If you don’t do that, I don’t know what your business model is in five years.” Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry

Customers can now connect with the brand on popular social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Live streaming of fashion shows has allowed customers to get even closer to Burberry. By taking an age old brand and completely revamping it, Burberry put the customer and their needs at the core of their new business model.

Is your organization innovation-driven?

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