In your Middle Market organization, do you focus on innovation or do you believe it happens organically based on your environment? How do you spend time and money to focus on innovation? Or, do you think innovation is not something you even need to be thinking about? Taking a step back, what does the word innovation even mean to your organization? How about to your C-Suite?
Why Innovation May Just Be A Five-Dollar Word To Your Middle Market Company
While innovation is a nice buzzword and a great concept, it doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. And, it certainly doesn’t create the same outcomes or require the same efforts and investments at each Middle Market firm. So, if you have been thinking of innovation as simply reinventing or spiffing up your existing product lines, you may have been missing the mark. Likewise, if you keep shooting for the moon with wild, inventive new concepts that never make it off the drawing board, you may need to regroup. Spend some time considering what innovation truly means for your purposes before you try to shift your focus.
At the heart of innovation is something deeply personal – not only to individual people but also to each team and each organization. If you find you’re struggling to be innovative or find your stride in innovation, you may not be staying true to your core values and authenticity as a company. Start by wiping the slate clean and defining what innovation should, could and does mean for and to your organization and your core players.
What’s The Special Sauce In Your Middle Market Company?
Each Middle Market firm has their own unique fingerprint – the mark they leave in their market, niche, channel, etc. What’s yours? Where are you uniquely different from your competitors? What are you doing that they are not? Let’s say you make clocks and your clocks are 5% different from your closest competition. Why are customers buying your brand? Is it that 5% uniqueness in the product? Is it your marketing, your customer service, your pricing? Whatever your special sauce is, that is probably where you should look to innovate.
Why? Well, let’s say you decide to just focus on the 5% difference and that isn’t really why customers choose your products. If you put effort into changing up that 5% – you add colors or different hands or a new face to your clock – you’ve potentially just wasted time, efforts and money. Your customers didn’t want that in the first place, the market is not clamoring for it. Instead, you should be thinking about how to shake-up or innovate in the realm that makes you different and desirable – that’s where you’ve already gained traction.
Putting It All Together For Innovation Success In The Middle Market
Innovation is a great concept, and it certainly has made some fantastic gains for certain companies. As with everything in life, it has to be authentic and right for your situation, or it will not be successful. So, start defining innovation for your Middle Market firm. Then, decide where to focus your innovation efforts and combine the two for laser focus on innovation. Stop thinking of innovation as something you have to do or that it must be done a certain way and figure out how it works best for your Middle Market organization.
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