How To Drive Innovation During An Economic Slump
When faced with an economic downturn, long-term investments, especially those intended for innovation, are the first to be axed. Instead, short-term gains are prioritized to stay profitable. However, this approach can prove counterproductive when it comes to the growth of Intellectual Property.
The economic slowdown should be viewed as a chance to innovate. This is a good time to evaluate your IP strategy and prepare it for the impending bullish market scenario. Here we discuss the ways in which you can transform a recession into an opportunity.
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8 Ways To Drive Innovation During Recession
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” and what could offer a bigger impetus to innovation in industries than an economic slowdown? It is the chance to move ahead of your competition by taking the lead and empowering your team with the spark of innovation. Here’s how you can do it:
- Lead By Example – Inspire employees by pushing the need for innovation from the top down. This can be pursued by approving innovation budgets, encouraging employees to participate in innovation, and holding teams accountable.
- Define the Core Objective – In order to focus on something, it is important to first identify the core objective. This need not be profit or day-to-day tasks but must extend beyond in order to permeate a sense of creativity throughout the organization.
- Prioritization is Key – While innovation budgets must not be curtailed, it is imperative to ensure that the right projects are allocated maximum resources. Stagnant projects must be put on the back seat in order to prioritize the ones that will reap greater benefits. One factor to decide priority can be choosing potential as opposed to performance. When a company pays attention to its core potential, the rewards are sure to follow.
- Meet Customer Needs – An economic slowdown reveals customer needs that may be unmet. By focusing on these, it is possible to make simple changes to your product to make it more desirable to the consumer. So, use this time to take note of the lacunae and address the demands of the customer in a better manner with improved R&D focus.
- Explore New Opportunities – Newer needs emerge during economic downturns that create new niches. Step up to the challenge and fill the void created by these opportunities. For example, Groupon was able to effectively bridge the gap between the consumer and seller by creating a mechanism of deals and promotions that allowed great accessibility.
- Build Collaborations – In the tough times of a recession, collaboration between companies helps businesses thrive and innovate better. Not just other businesses, partnering with universities, suppliers, innovation leaders, experts, and customers can prove fruitful and open up new avenues.
- Rely on Technology – Technology is the future and embracing it is essential to ensure the success of innovation post-recession as well. Technology scouting is a great way to stay updated with the latest tech trends and incorporate the relevant ones in the organization.
- Fill Innovation Gaps – The economic downturn is a good time to carry out a comprehensive analysis of your innovation system to reveal the voids. Identifying the gaps and filling them can be an activity undertaken in order to prepare better for the time when the market takes an upturn.
A slowdown in the economy need not translate to sluggishness within the company. Instead, this time can be utilized for an inward analysis and evaluation to achieve long-term goals. Innovation and creativity must be at the helm of affairs during tough times so that the business is ready to achieve greater heights when the prospects improve. Strategies such as tech scouting can prove immensely useful for companies that wish to nurture innovative ideas that have future potential.
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