What Does It Mean to be More Innovative than Your Competitors?

Stay ahead in the innovation race

Business is all about being the best at what you do.

Your company, like other enterprises and startups, feels the constant pressure to serve your customers better and out-do your competitors. How you go about that will determine not only your success in the market, but your very survival.

Out-doing your competitors takes more than incremental improvement, it takes a sea change. It requires innovation. The fuel that drives innovation is simple: Be your biggest competitor.

You want to be better than your competitors, and being your own biggest competitor will help you have the vision and imagination to reinvent products, services and the processes that allow you to provide those products and services.

Have the Vision to Be Your Own Biggest Competitor

What’s the best way to do that? Have a vision of where you want your company to be in one, two and ten years.

Your enterprise’s management team must have the vision to envision the future and replace the way the company does things today, while making changes in the company culture.

Invite employees across the entire company to innovate. They make up the future of the enterprise. Challenge them, empower them, listen to their ideas.

Thomas Edison said, “To have a great idea, have a lot of them.”

Bring that vision into focus with top-level strategies. Put new products on the drawing table. Test new theories and technologies. Find faster ways to produce better products. But go farther. Redefine who you are and retool operations to exceed the expectations.

Speed is important because, if it takes too long to build a solution, by then, your customers will be looking for a different one. Any step of the innovation process that you can streamline is key.

Innovation means you listen to your customers and you give them more than what they need. You give them what they want.

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And you find new customers along the way that also have wants. But keep looking. Keep experimenting. Keep testing. Some customers don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

Bring Imagination to Life Through Innovation

Go big or go home. Steve Jobs had a vision for Apple. He said, “I want to put a ding in the universe,” and he did it through innovation.

Put your new concept in motion. Plan. Design. Test. Compare. Evaluate. Scale. Make sure it works.

As Jobs also said, “Design is not in the look and feel; it’s how it works.”

Coming up with the big idea is one thing – and the first thing. Bringing it to life is quite another.

Look for the best technology to test your technology. Whether yours is wearable, seeable, drivable, or some “other-able,” find the best way to develop it. Competitive advantage comes with hard work.

And keep an open mind. Remember what Thomas Edison said about those early experiments:

“There are no rules in this lab. We’re trying to accomplish something here.”

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