It’s not easy being competitive in a global market these days. Every organization simply must figure out how to create and deliver on time innovative and high-quality products and services. And all that, of course, at a lower cost than the competition.
To fulfill all the above, one must have employees designed by the God of Success himself. They need to be creative, but willing to stick to all the rules and standards, with a work efficiency that meets time and budget constraints.
So, let’s analyze this Trinity that makes all the difference when it comes to company success.
Innovation. Quality. Efficiency.
Simply put, innovation is thinking outside of the box. Quality requires working by the rules. Efficiency is accomplished by staying friendly with budget and time-frames.
Looks like things go smoothly when these three meet. And that is true, except for the never-ending feud that exists between innovation and quality. Sometimes the two clash, especially when innovation provides the initial spark for the light of a big change.
But, before we jump into this inquiry, we must first anatomize the link between innovation and creativity.
For starters, remember that creativity is not synonymous with innovation!
Innovation is the successful implementation of creative ideas, while creativity is the personal characteristic. However, this personal characteristic is tightly linked to innovation – the production of unique and unusual ideas (creativity, that is) leads to its implementation, which again, leads to innovation.
Proclaimed the cornerstone of growth, the innovation is proved to build stronger brands, develop successful products, and enhance firm value. While doing all that, it also helps sustain the organization in the awe of a marketplace constant fluctuations, preparing it for long-term progress.
So, who is to “blame” if things go well?
As usual – the people. Every single innovation activity can be traced back to the behavior and personal characteristics of the employees. So, when wanting to improve the innovation lever in the company, make the employee the center point of attention!
In order to generate, evaluate, realize and implement new ideas, the management must always search and implement new technologies, paths to reach the companies’ goals and new work methods. On top of that uninterrupted process, really smart management will never hesitate to make the adaptation of others’ existing ideas besides just creating new ones. Of course, after they created a perfect combination of individual motivation and clever teamwork.
First of all, the quality requires adherence to rules or standards. No compromise there.
If we understand the innovation as a process of making changes to something already established – the harmful effects of change can be seen as a threat to quality.
The question is: Does innovation smother quality? Are these two in opposition or harmony?
The quality system is a structured process (a set of procedures) designed to improve and control the quality of the product or service. A good quality system will never ignore a situation in which creativity can happen. Instead, it will increase it by using systematic processes.
Therefore, the use of a formal quality system must recognize that innovation plays an important role in their success. And this is my friends, a very promising way of resolving the potential conflict between innovation and quality – making innovation as much a part of the quality system as any other activity.
The benefits of doing so are:
- Improving the quality of innovation by ensuring that the full solution space is explored
- Forcing appropriate resources to be applied to the innovation
- Making innovation measurable, subjecting it to improvement
- Making innovation activities compatible with every the other process in the organization
Once quality and innovation are not inherently in conflict, they will support each other. The innovation becomes ‘quality friendly’ and the quality system is provided with a systematic framework that enhances the novelty spirit.
One of many definitions of efficiency is that it is the ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing the desired result.
And it should not be mistaken for the productivity. Simply put, an explanation of productivity versus efficiency is the difference between quantity and quality.
Actually, we pretty much covered this topic in one of our previous blogs – so, if interested, knock yourself out.
If not that much, we’ll just go over it one more time.
As we said, efficiency relates to the quality of your work, which might include creating output with less waste, using fewer resources or spending less money. Having this in mind, it reflects the company’s ability to achieve the best results with its available resources, and with no to minimum wastage of efforts and expenses. It’s crucial to plan and organize carefully all the resources so that they are available whenever they’re needed.
What can you do to increase it and improve it?
First of all, identify the areas where you’re wasting the most time and money. You can always use new time management techniques and if that doesn’t work, a tool like Teodesk can be your best allay.
Wake up your people. Inspire them to release the inner efficiency-Superman and Superwoman, of course.
In a pretty nonchalant manner, pass them some of these advice:
- Use the 80/20 rule
- Find repeatable shortcuts
- Don’t multitask
- Focus on the most important tasks first
- Take breaks
And one more thing (applicable to absolutely everything in life):
Poor communication is a huge time-waster. Work on that.
Ok, we covered The Holy Trinity of the Success. But, what have we left out?
Maybe its essential part, the most important link – the people.
When it comes to employees, we have the entire scale of different types of person. But, in the end, it all comes to this simple division:
You are more of an adaptor, or you are more of an innovator. And that’s it.
Adaptors are precautious, reliable, efficient, methodological, disciplined, and conforming.
Innovators do things differently.
The first ones are reducing and solving problems by introducing improvements that increase efficiency and maintain maximal continuity and stability.
On the other hand, the innovators are more likely to choose breakthroughs to get the solution and improve the situation.
The differences between innovators and adopters are often determined by these three personal characteristics:
- Originality and idea creation
- Conformity to rules and group norms
- Efficiency, which is about paying attention to detail, and thoroughness.
So, which one are you?