FESPA is setting out its ‘Eight Steps to Innovation’, encouraging wide format entrepreneurs to embrace innovation more actively as part of their strategy for future growth.
1. Prepare for Innovation
Gain a thorough understanding of the prevailing external conditions and the likely forecast for your market. When you’re fully aware of the facts, you can choose the direction and type of innovation you want to create.
2. Be creative
Innovation does not exist unless there is creativity first. Innovation is invariably a result of a team effort. No innovator charges into the surf without engaging in dialogue, debate and discussion with the right mix of thinkers.
3. Consider your customer
Being customer-centric is an essential characteristic of the successful innovator. Fully understand their needs, goals and visions. This will help you to get the concept right and the delivery perfect.
4. Make the Effort
Innovation isn’t easy. It takes time, energy and effort, and you must be flexible and challenge the ‘norm’. That ‘eureka moment’ will only come after much time, effort and energy have been expended.
5. Take the Risk
Overcome your fear and accept that innovation is a combination of creativity and risk. If it doesn’t work first time, respect yourself for taking the risk.
To catch the new wave that hasn’t been caught before, innovation needs strong leadership for your team and for your customers. So invest in yourself to ensure your leadership skills, attitude and belief are strong enough.
7. Accept Feedback
Innovation always needs time to settle. Your ‘beta’ customers must accept improvement over time. The clever innovator will have a very strong relationship with their customers and will get the necessary feedback for success.
8. Communication is everything
Innovation is inspirational, but not if nobody is aware of the innovation! If you’re using innovation to differentiate your business, improve efficiency or profit, make sure you communicate proactively to all your stakeholders.
The Eight Steps to Innovation are reproduced in a surf-themed pocket guide for visitors to the FESPA 2010 show (Munich, 26 June 2010), which also includes details of the comprehensive FESPA Innovate! event programme. The steps will also form the basis of a live Innovate! Workshop, hosted on site at the show by FESPA Managing Director Frazer Chesterman and Sales & Marketing Director Marcus Timson.
“The Eight Steps to Innovation is a compact way of making a serious point”, explains Marcus Timson. “Innovation can be intimidating for entrepreneurs, especially when they are steering their businesses out of an economic downturn, with the inevitable focus on efficiency and cost- and cash- management that brings.
He continues, “Innovation is all too often misinterpreted as ‘invention’, making people think that they have to do something revolutionary. That’s far from the truth: often innovation is just about looking at things from a different angle, or harnessing your company’s skills, contacts and resources in different ways. Our clear focus at FESPA 2010 is on helping print service providers to develop the mindset of the innovator, which we firmly believe is one of the keys to the FESPA community’s success.”
To download a copy of the FESPA Innovate! Guide, or find more details of the FESPA Innovate! programme, surf to www.fespa2010.com. To be part of FESPA’s Innovators forum, join FESPA’s Wide Network at www.widenetwork.ning