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Advisor, Chunka Mui — in his recent column for Forbes — described innovation as an “imperative” for businesses and organizations. He cited studies in which senior executives and board members stated that the rapid pace of technological change was the biggest challenge facing their organization, and that disruptive innovation was the biggest risk.
However, Mui asserts, innovation is also the biggest opportunity to grow your business. In the ABCs of organizational improvements, Mui quotes engineer and innovator Douglas Englebart, who once stated that the ability to get better and get better at improving one’s self is the key to long term viability.
When it comes to those ABCs, the column explains, “A” is your core activities: developing products, manufacturing them, marketing them, distributing them. “B” is the process by which you improve your “A”. This can include implementing a continuous improvement methodology such as Six Sigma in order to accomplish your core activities faster, better, cheaper, and for more profit. “C” is the part of the equation where you continuously improve your improvement processes. Where you think big. Where you innovate. This is the part of the process, Mui notes, that led to the invention of laser printers and networked computing. It’s the part that brought such things as iPhones and driverless cars.
Not having a “C” process can result in failure, the column warns. Kodak, operating without a “C” process, failed to fully embrace digital photography. Instead, it relegated that invention to an extension of its “A” process — which was products such as film, paper, and chemicals.
The Pyzdek Institute can give you the tools to implement a culture of continuous improvement through Six Sigma training. This can help in the “B” process of improving how you do your business. It can also help in the “C” process of always looking at ways to make your improvements stand out.