Embracing an Innovation Mindset

Innovation is a word rife with meaning and, in the business world, it is often associated with the activities that are risky and on the “cutting edge”.
This interpretation can act as a barrier and prevent us from being innovative in our businesses.

The reality is that innovation are all of the steps we take to do things better, smarter. That reality is one that all small companies need to embrace if they want to stay in business.

Here is an example.

Chinese food is one of my go-to meals for those busy days when I don’t have the time or energy to cook. I can’t remember the last time our family actually sat down to eat in a Chinese restaurant; we always order take-out.

When I think about ordering take-out, the picture that immediately pops to mind is a dark, uninviting restaurant that feels tired, with aging décor and a bunch of empty tables.
One day I decided to pop into a new Chinese restaurant and was blown away by the “innovation” the owners had applied.

Instead of the usual crammed space where people could wait for their orders, the restaurant had been designed around the needs of take-out customers. There was a pleasant, but small, cluster of tables in the front for eat-in customers and then a large, brightly lit area in the middle of the store with comfortable couches, a large coffee table and clean, glossy magazines and a few newspapers as well.

The approach to the interior design of the restaurant was innovative, but it was not overwhelmingly difficult to achieve. The innovation in this case was the way the company took a customer-centric approach to their store design.

An innovation mindset can be as simple as a paradigm shift, where you look at different aspects of your business and ask “how can I do this better” or “how can I put my customers first”?

It’s really quite simple and can have a powerful impact on your business success.

This is a guest post by Julie King.  Julie King is the co-founder and president of Biz-Zone Internet Group Inc., a technology company that specializes in online publishing and website development for member-driven associations. She is also the co-founder and managing editor of CanadaOne.com®.  As the publisher of CanadaOne Julie is responsible for content and technical development as well as marketing and strategic partnerships.  Be sure to check out their upcoming Un-Conference that we are participating in on October 15, 2012!

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