Innovation is frequently associated with product development, whether it was Henry Ford’s mass-production of the Model T leading to vastly improved assembly lines or Steve Jobs building that first Apple computer in a garage in Los Altos. But innovation also plays a role in the seemingly mundane but vital activity of solving day-to-day operational problems. If salespeople are chasing the same leads or if scheduling shifts for care workers is confusing and capricious, it can damage productivity and demoralize staff. And rather than rely on processes or work orders to address such issues, companies often find that spontaneous, interactive, and collaborative brainstorming moments can deliver a solution. When communication suffers, so does innovative problem-solving. And because the forced move to remote working has sharply impacted the capacity for gatherings around the watercooler (or coffee machine or foosball table), the potential to engage in problem-solving has declined as well.
STRATEGY + BUSINESS
The last few weeks of the year calls for all businesses to brainstorm new product or service ideas and polish their business vision. It is the time when they review their internal procedures and revise their external communication strategy.
Similarly, it is great to put together a digital marketing strategy for your company to achieve a specific goal, i.e., boost brand awareness, level-up lead acquisition, or enter a new market.
SMALL BIZ TRENDS
A report in the Korea Times today suggests that Apple has still not given up on its dreams of building (or at least selling) a self-driving electric vehicle. The first rumors that Apple was working on its own car surfaced in 2014. Since then, the company seems to have focused its car-related ambitions on the development of self-driving software, which would be used in a vehicle built by a partner company with expertise in vehicle manufacturing. Earlier this year, negotiations on the project between Apple and Hyundai-Kia fell through. But now, Apple may have found new targets in LG and Magna International.
CAR AND DRIVER