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An Innovative Approach to Business

In today’s economy, organizations generally understand that in order to be successful and recognized by others, they need a brand. This brand is more than a logo with your name, but includes the products and services the organization provides, as well as the practices, personality and culture the organization embraces. Simply put, these elements constitute what people generally think of when they hear/see your organization’s name.
Before one can develop this brand, it is important to define “who” your organization is. As definitions of words vary from person to person, take the time to bring all participants together to determine who you are and what you want your brand to be. Some organizations want to be known as traditional, some as contemporary, and others as innovative, while some may prefer the tag progressive. But regardless of the word(s) used, just be sure that the definition used is understood by those involved. For today’s post, we will focus on what it means to be an innovative organization.

A Definition of Innovation

The American Heritage Dictionary defines innovation as, “The act of introducing something new; something newly introduced.” With that definition in mind, an innovative organization is one that will try new things. Leadership will view failure, not as a time when things did not go as intended, but rather as an opportunity to learn something new so that future endeavors will be more successful. An innovative organization does things with purpose and intentionality keeping the big picture in mind. It is characterized by an emphasis on an awareness of external and internal environmental factors combined with a decision process that is productive, allowing for a timely and effective response to the changes within the environment. Consequently, the innovative organization will know the following:
  • When something new is needed
  • How to figure out what is needed
  • What purpose the innovation will serve
  • What success with that innovation will look like

The DNA of the Innovative Organization

In order for an organization to be truly innovative, several components should be a part of its DNA.
  • Awareness of what is going on within the organization.
  • Awareness of what is going on in and around the community, region, etc.
  • The ability of the organization to respond to those internal and external elements. To do this, the organization will need a nimble decision making process. Simply stated, the innovative organization has these characteristics - adaptability, maneuverability, speed and responsiveness.
Without these components, an organization may be described as bureaucratic.

Defining Factors of a Bureaucratic Organization

In order to appreciate the innovative approach, let’s take some time to look at the factors that define the bureaucratic approach. Keep in mind, the bureaucratic organization is not necessarily a bad thing, just different.
  • In a bureaucracy there is not as much flexibility, as their many layers of management impedes decision-making, resulting in a loss of opportunity for doing something new.
  • Bureaucratic organizations are characteristically impersonal. They may not intend to be, but due to procedures, policies and expectations needed to run the organization, people and relationships get overlooked.
  • In a bureaucratic organization, especially a large one, it is very difficult for any one person or group to have any significant influence on the direction or operation of the organization.
  • The bureaucratic organization is great place to work if one merely desires to coast, with little regard to excellence or high-level performance.

“So what,” you may ask, “defines an innovative organization?” Great question! Here at Pinnacle, we see the innovative organization as one that has more to do with flexibility and adaptability than style. The innovative organization will stay in touch with the external and internal environmental factors, and is committed to a decision making process that is proactive and effective. If you would like to learn more about how to be a truly innovative organization, but are not sure how to achieve that, please contact PCCG. We would love to help you.
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