The old much beloved buzzword – Innovation.
Everybody wants it, although only a few are champions at it.
Amazon, Google, Apple, Tesla and others, making it a long list. But not all companies have the resources and know-how of this tycoons.
What happens with the average and small companies and how can these compete with the big ones? A lot of companies are trying to be innovative, to adopt new trends and technologies, but almost always this is a very difficult endeavor.
How can you as an average size company be innovative?
There are several ways.
You can copy some of the most successful ones (if you can), because as I said before, you might lack their resources. So you copy some of their initiatives, some of their technologies and you might perform better for a while. But this might not be enough.
A more sustainable way is to buy expertise. And all starts with the strategic vision. Know your customer and try to solve his pain. Know the technologies and trends and try to be an early adopter in order to increase productivity, decrease cost with salaries and deliver faster better products. Invest. This is not an expenditure. These money will save you money in the future. It might be much cheaper and more efficient to invest in a software than in more employees which you can not find and when you find them you see they are very expensive.
Implement. Ideas are nothing without implementation. Do not neglect anything. Any implemented idea that might serve better the customers, or decrease costs or increase productivity is worth trying. Doing nothing is the worst strategy. The business world is running at very high speed. Companies are emerging and dying at fast rate. Competition is fighting harder than ever.
Then comes the company culture. Which can not be easily copied. And which can attract and keep talent. And can not be neglected.
So to summarize I would focus on Vision/Strategy + Customer focus + Technology + Idea implementation + Company Culture. Innovation by itself is not enough. But a combination of these elements might do it.
Easier said than done. But not impossible. Many companies are doing this successfully.