Innovation is vital for business. It keeps companies at the forefront of new developments, enabling them to exploit new markets much faster and stay ahead of their competition. Innovation also creates opportunities for greater efficiency, cost reduction and a more engaged and productive workforce. Have you heard about the seven ways to create a more innovative business?

1. Create a culture of innovation. The first step in making a business more innovative is to establish a culture where all ideas – the good, the bad and the ridiculous – are encouraged, valued and considered. Without fear of rejection, employees are more likely to develop the can-do attitude that is the catalyst for innovation. To create such a culture, companies need to open lines of communication between management and employees, and one way of doing this is to hold company-wide brainstorming sessions and other ideation events, not forgetting to provide people with an easy way of submitting their ideas.

2. Recruit innovative people. If a business is to innovate, it needs innovative people. When hiring new staff to bring an element of creativity to the team, look for candidates who see things differently and will bring a fresh perspective to the business. During interviews, look for evidence of diversity and any unusual aspects of their education, leisure activities and outside interests. Research has shown that a diverse workforce helps businesses become more innovative and more successful.

3. Embrace innovative business technology. New technology presents huge innovative opportunities for businesses that engage with it. Embracing technology can be as simple as creating an online store, moving paper-based systems to the cloud or implementing new payment methods – small changes that will reduce costs, improve efficiencies and drive further innovation within the organization.

4. Invest in Research and Development (R&D). Higher R&D investments are associated with faster technological progress, higher productivity and significant growth in production. One result of the R&D process is also the increase in the number of patent applications. Investing in R&D is keeping your business in constant transformation.

5. Bring in innovation from the outside. Business innovation does not always have to be driven from inside the company. Collaborating externally with other innovative businesses is a good way of bringing fresh ideas into the mix and speeding up the innovation process.

6. Open-up to the world. When you import and/or export, your horizon expands. You may learn new concepts about strategy, innovation, competitiveness and, all of this, transform you and your business and have a direct impact on your sales. What’s new in my industry? Who is a world reference in my field? What is my competitor doing in Germany? How much would it cost to open a branch in Hong Kong? Are there any new payment methods for my product in South Korea?

In the macroeconomic context, for example, the United States, as usual, have been a global leader in innovation for, at least, twenty years. However, the Chinese government has been very active in implementing policies to encourage innovation. In 2006, China announced a national innovation campaign, with the goal of transforming the country into a technological power by 2020. With subsidies, the number of patent applications exploded.

Some studies argue, however, that the quality of Chinese patents is unmatched in quantity, and these applications are also highly concentrated in certain sectors, such as electronics. Therefore while China is making an effort to get closer to the United States in terms of innovation and technology, more R&D investments for a wide range of industrial sectors may be needed.

Today it is impossible to think of a company that is not involved in the international perspective. It is imperative to integrate your business and to be up for what’s happening in the world.

Have a strong partner at your side and explore what the world (outside yours) can do for your business. Come to Braver Corporation. Innovation is our essence.

Author

Braver is a world class Brazilian company specialized in foreign trade and international affairs. We are pioneering in applying the concept of sustainability to foreign trade projects. We offer high quality premium nutrition and wellness products from Latin America to the world. We share know-how in specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, works of art, renewable energies, textiles, high-tech machinery, equipment and engineering solutions.