BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 36
HOW TO KEEP INNOVATION
A TOP PRIORITY
BY STEVE BLUE
ot a blockbuster hit. Rather,
Blockbuster, the company
that owned the video
rental market until it was
upended by an innovative
One thing is for certain: If your company isn't innovating, all of its products
or services eventually become commodities. Or they're toppled by the next Netflix.
When that happens, you have no margin left to spend on research and development, new initiatives, or anything else
that could provide a competitive advantage.
Then, your customers will start playing you
against the competition, and it's just a race
to the bottom for further price concessions.
By that point, you're left with reducing
costs, overhead, or profit - you're now
in a death spiral toward that going-out-ofbusiness curve.
So how, exactly, do you spark new innovation at a company? What's more, how do
you do it at an already established business?
1. MAKE INNOVATION PART OF
EVERYONE'S JOB DESCRIPTION
The first line item on every job description should state that a primary duty is to
introduce innovative ideas into the company. This should apply to job descriptions
of all employees - not just a select few.
From the salon floor to the executive door,
mandate that the entire organization offer
ideas to improve products and services.
Innovation must be one of the company's core values, so much so that it is tied
to performance appraisals. Determine
a means to best measure innovation in
your company, and incentivize innovative
thoughts by making it part of the performance review process. By doing so, not
only do you give kudos and raises to the
employees that innovate, but you also say
goodbye to the ones that don't. Pretty
harsh, isn't it? So is what happened to
Blockbuster. Or Polaroid. Or Woolworth's.
Or dozens of other industry icons that
bit the dust.
2. INVEST IN INNOVATION
Contrary to popular belief, everyone is
creative. The key is to understand how to
unlock that creativity. Train every single
employee in the principles of brainstorming and innovation. Hold "innovation fairs,"
similar to a science fair. Take your employees on field trips to highly innovative companies outside of your industry.
3. PROVIDE THE
TIME TO INNOVATE
It isn't always enough to set the expectation to innovate. You must provide the
time - or at least the parameters - for
innovation. To really push the innovation
envelope, you should encourage your
employees to spend 20 percent of their
time innovating and brainstorming new
ideas. But if you still expect your team to
accomplish the same amount of work in
the remaining 80 percent, that would be
unfair, and in the end, would never work.
So you have to bite the bullet and hire more
- Implementing Innovation is available on the AACS Online Training Center. Members call AACS at
800-831-1086 for your VIP Discount Code. To learn about this course, visit www.aacstraining.org/courses/MT151.
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