"Don't fear mistakes"

Ajay Nanavati, MD, 3M India, suggests ways to improve innovation in an organisation

Published 8 years ago on Oct 27, 2012 Read
Niloptal Baruah

Be customer-centric: There is nothing — repeat, nothing — more important than getting to know the needs of your customers in a detailed, scientific manner. Not only is this a proven strategy for short-term success and long-term growth, also ensures ‘customer-inspired’ innovation. 

Nurture ‘intrapreneurship’: Invest in people who can conceptualise creative yet frugal innovation. Encourage entrepreneurial skills within the enterprise set-up. Provide promising people with new opportunities, support them and give them time to learn and thrive. Have very clear measurable metrics and learn to be tolerant towards failure.

Seek new markets: Be willing to invest in the power of disruptive technologies that can not only provide solutions to an identified problem, but also create new markets. If an opportunity doesn’t beckon you, be fearless enough to seek it yourself. 

Take initiative, be creative: Big winners for a company are those that match new, marketable ideas with customers before anyone else can. Prudence in this delicate economy is very critical given that customers are looking for maximum value when spending their hard-earned cash. Hence, once you understand the needs of your customer, turn to your existing inventory and see what can be improvised, excelled and customised to suit the requirements of your customer.

Network: Create a culture of co-operation where you have the freedom to call experts and promote boundary-less sharing. Create forums in your organisations for knowledge sharing and encourage networking across geographies.


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