Being an innovator doesn’t always involve coming up with a completely new idea entirely from scratch. Instead, it more often requires taking existing ideas and combining them in different ways, creating a result that improves the user experience or meets a need that otherwise wasn’t covered in the market.
But what skills does it take to make such discoveries? It turns out, two are particularly important when it comes to innovation. Here’s what you need to be able to master.
Recognizing Customer Needs
Sometimes clients can identify their own needs quite clearly, giving you a strong base to create a solution that fills in any current gaps. However, more often than not, they can’t clearly articulate what is missing or even a full awareness of the problem.
In these cases, you need to learn to discover their needs by understanding their desires, hopes, and goals for a particular product. You also need to identify obstacles to the ideal experience and work to remove them.
By learning to recognize their needs, you can create appropriate solutions, allowing your innovations to be effective and meaningful in the eyes of customers. Developing this skill often involves spotting pain points in current offerings, as well as learning the right questions to ask to obtain critical information from customers.
Combining Technologies and Expertise
In many scenarios, you won’t be tasked with reinventing the wheel. Each part of your ideal solution may already exist. It’s about learning to bring the pieces together so it can lead to meaningful innovation.
Often, people assume this approach increases the complexity of a product, requiring more knowledge on the part of the innovator and customer. However, many solutions also lower the overall complexity thanks to simpler tools that achieve similar goals.
For example, programming languages were once seen as a significant barrier to those looking to create technology systems. However, the increased availability of learning mechanisms and a multitude of simplified options has made such skills more accessible. Other improvements offered by web- or cloud-based providers give developers access to a wider range of tools without needing them to invest in infrastructure, while design frameworks help novices in the field create high-quality results with ease. Custom applications are even at most non-programmers fingertips courtesy of advances like Salesforce Lightning App Builder.
Another approach to innovation involves bringing an area of expertise into the technology world. For example, creating an application that targets an untapped topical niche can be quite successful if customers focused on a particular subject manner desire that technology.
By learning to bring different pieces together instead of trying to create something completely new, innovation is within reach of almost anyone. And combining that understanding with knowledge of recognizing customer needs gives any professional the potential for meaningful innovation.
If you would like to know more about promoting innovation in your company, the team at Solving IT has the experience to shine a light on this interesting subject. Contact us today and see how our services can help your business take strides toward greater innovation in the workplace.