Living the mantra of ABI- Always Be Innovating
There’s a reason the most innovative companies earn this distinction: They never stop reinventing themselves.
Facebook and Twitter, for example, were the most innovative companies a few years ago and now they don’t even make it on the top innovative companies lists. Even Apple is now struggling to maintain its innovation identity.
It is not enough to just sit on your history. Twelve years ago Whirlpool Corp. was stuck in a “sea of white” in which all consumer appliances were literally one color. It was difficult for consumers to make a choice and usually just relied on price or a sales associate’s advice to make a purchase.
Whirlpool saw that it had to change to stay relevant to its consumers. The company began offering products outside its traditional kitchen and laundry product lines - a new freezer for the garage evolved into an entire line of organizational products.
With the right system and people in place, it is possible to Always Be Innovating. Continuous innovation needs:
- A two-pronged innovation strategy: Continuous innovation is hard for even “innovative” companies. It takes a strategy that produces constant quick wins while simultaneously providing channels to develop game-changing breakthroughs.
- A group of Innovation Champions: These are the people in your organization that help to make innovation happen. They will encourage participation in innovation and help connect organizational leadership and your specific innovation team.
Innovation is a journey of trial and error, not just a one-time spark. Whirlpool had to experiment and adjust to discover what type of products people wanted to buy and use in their garage before expanding product lines.
The search for new opportunities and processes to explore is a constant exercise. It’s a major factor for staying at the top of the “most innovative” lists.