The shocking and immediate effects of the pandemic forced many companies to adapt. With the disruption of supply chains, and employee and customer relations, demands went down as everyone panicked.
The triple shock was a reckoning that pushed companies to look for creative ways of staying afloat. Well, you had to navigate the bleak business environment or perish.
But some businesses thrived so well. To innovative firms, the crisis was an opportunity that couldn’t be wasted. Those that embraced digital technologies, from big firms to small businesses, prospered.
For example, tech companies like Amazon added over US$400 billion to its market cap during the pandemic. Also, Instacart, a grocery delivery startup, made $1.5 billion in 2020 – more than double its $700 million revenue in 2019.
Businesses that thrived in the pandemic were either well prepared for disruption or innovated quickly to adapt to the new norm. Unfortunately, others were driven out of business because they did not prepare well for the innovation.
Well, it does not mean that the firms that survived hurriedly innovating during the pandemic are better. Such a rush can be fatal due to firms’ inherent mistakes while in a panic mode. As a result, the panicking firm may end up being drained by its mishandled and ill-prepared innovation.
The best way to handle a crisis or disruption is to be prepared. And preparation starts by training the critical stakeholders in the firm to be ready for impending disruption. That’s where an innovation trainer comes in handy as the reliable hand that steers you through the storm to the other side.
What Is Innovation Training?
An innovation training is a quality immersive program that equips employees and key company stakeholders with reliable and relevant innovative strategies. You may immediately think of ISO 9001 quality management and lead auditor training but, although this is the most widely recognized certification program, there are other options as well.
It nudges the participants to align with instituted processes and resources that nurture an innovation culture. As mentioned earlier, it all depends on your goals. You can either go company-wide or target what’s most urgent and critical to you at the moment to realize your innovation potential.
However, you may not achieve your maximum innovation potential if you do not have the right innovation processes and resources. You must first develop the relevant innovation resources and tools like idea management software to capture the most promising innovative ideas.
Also, you’ll need to have the capacity to evaluate ideas and flip them into viable business models or products. Besides, your team must know how to leverage resources to support processes like quality experimentation and testing new business ideas.
A specialized innovation trainer can guide your teams through the vital aspects of your innovation strategy and processes. It will help you accelerate the team’s training and innovation projects and transform the company’s innovation culture.
It helps make innovation coaching part of your innovation workflow and processes. As a result, you do not need to react to external changes when they arise. On the contrary, you will be embracing them to maximize the opportunities they bring.
That enables you to uncover new opportunities faster. Also, you will identify inherent industry threats earlier. So, you can leverage disruption to your advantage to steer the company to growth because you anticipated the incoming changes.
Why Is Innovation Training Important?
Innovation training equips you to discover new business ideas and models and launch them faster into the market. That positions you to tap new growth channels to increase your company performance.
For example, during the pandemic, there were process and product innovations to adapt to the lockdowns.
Process innovation involves changing business processes to adapt to pandemic shocks. Firms like grocery resorted to online delivery applications to deliver to their customers locked at home. Also, drive-in theaters grew popular to bring in more revenues as they navigated the strict social distancing measures.
Product innovation involves changing a product’s design, ingredients, and features to adapt to new changes. We saw less of this type of innovation during the pandemic. But firms like Coca-Cola have been making more revenue with its Diet Coke and Coke Zero – different products from the classic coke drink with sugar.
At the core of these impactful changes lies an innovation strategy hinged on coaching to leverage and accelerate new projects to the market. That allows the companies to benefit in terms of performance, revenue, etc.
Let’s explore some benefits and why innovation training is key to your company’s success.
1. Increase Customer Satisfaction
One of the most excellent perks of innovation training is that it offers you a thorough understanding of your customer’s needs. And that also includes capturing any customer behavior changes.
Such intimate knowledge of customer needs allows you to anticipate any changes and address them accordingly. Customers buy products and services to help them accomplish specific functions.
Take the case of Amazon. It services customers’ needs with simplified online shopping and timely delivery. Also, PayPal makes online payments accessible and hassle-free for users.
Remember, several providers are offering the same services as Amazon and PayPal. But their unique features and trust make them a high-priority choice for most customers.
Similarly, you can leverage innovation training to help your brand’s products speak to customers’ needs. That will make customers patronize your brands. So, through strategies and learning processes in innovation training, you provide better products that serve customers’ needs exceptionally and satisfactorily.
2. Equips You to Benefit From Disruption
Knowing your customers’ needs also gives you leverage to opportunities from disruption. Innovation training will help you harness constant feedback from customers and employees. On the one hand, it allows you to figure out customer needs.
Also, it gives you a clear picture of how and when customer needs or behavior may change in the future. Considering how diversified a market can have different needs, keeping tabs on all potential opportunities is vital for your growth.
Lessons and strategic techniques gained from innovation training can help curate the best suitable strategy to tap these opportunities. Notably, it can allow you to track each market segment’s needs and anticipate behavior changes. Incorporating the exact needs and anticipated changes in offers in each market can give you a competitive edge.
So, innovation training will make you better placed to respond to arising opportunities. A great innovation coach will help you focus on customer needs, to be able to have access to new business growth opportunities.
3. Enhance Employee Retention
The Great Resignation is proving to be a nightmare for many HR departments. As millions quit the workplace voluntarily, you do not want to do something that may prompt more to leave. The good thing, being innovative can retain employees.
According to research by Microsoft, about 90% of employees would remain in an innovative company compared to 60% in a less innovative firm. That’s a great way of winning the talent war.
Innovation training empowers teams to achieve target goals through external and internal collaboration. Any company’s success is only achievable through employee engagement. Deeper employee engagement can lead to employee satisfaction that, in turn, hold them from quitting.
Your company can gain so many perks from innovation training. Besides enhancing innovation culture, it can drive your company’s growth to success in many ways.
You can use it to drive customer satisfaction by understanding their personal needs. Also, it can help you increase employee retention and position to maximize opportunities during disruption. A strong understanding of customer needs, innovative talent, and growth opportunities are recipes for company success.