5 Core Principles to Overcome Struggles by Innovation

Innovation Principles

Struggles Breeding Innovation

The pandemic has shown individuals young or old in a time of uncertainty, can come together and find creative opportunities to cater to a shifting market. People found to be pivoting their businesses by utilising their existing knowledge, skills, and networks to the new needs. From companies redesigning their business model to produce & sell PBE equipment to their communities. Your local taxi to delivering groceries, the nature of innovation is often incremental, but, it is proven to be essential for survival and adapting to the VUCA world.

Who Is Winning?

Here are some types of businesses that are seeing a strong demand during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Home health companies
  • Cleaning services
  • Delivery services
  • Fitness equipment and online fitness classes
  • Landscaping/yard care companies
  • Mask makers
  • Telehealth services
  • Bread-baking companies
  • Gardening suppliers
  • Tutoring businesses
  • Behavioural health providers

5 Core Principles to Innovation

Innovation initiatives can be broken down into five principles: redefine your problems, map your resources, use emerging technologies, encourage collaboration, and integrate end-users

1. Redefine Your Problem

Quickly assess and understand what is currently happening in your industry and business. Looking at your existing technology as a potential solution may give you a new sense of the problem too. Note that the most valuable knowledge about the problems can be found out through environmental analysis. 

2. Reallocate Your Resources

Try applying the VRIO model to find out if you currently have any competitive advantages to knuckle down on during these times. The key is to be able to match the problem you are facing with your existing resources, at the moment it is more crucial than ever to see if you are able to build a sustainable competitive advantage. 

Develop an inventory of “useful stuff,” including existing products, facilities, databases, software, talent, and expertise.

3. Use Emerging Technologies

The list is endless, as technologies and new SaaS platforms emerge. Look at integrating cloud computing, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and other tech can create an innovation sprint of continuous improvement. Technologies are only powerful when you are able to mix human and technology capabilities. 

4. Communicate More

This should be a given, but as seen across governments and corporations – communication is an afterthought. To really understand how to tackle the problem, you need to be able to identify all your internal actors and how they can provide a solution. Many barriers to innovation rely on the organisational structure, and the key to nimbleness is to being able to act like a start-up. Start-ups are able to consistently pivot as the company is built small so it can cater to changing markets. 

5. Integrating Feedback to Your Processes

To be able to survive you need to be able to consistently improve continuously. The time for waiting is over, there is no luxury of waiting for market research to determine your decisions. You need to be able to consistently make choices with your end users in mind. Consider adopting an agile approach towards operations and communications by incorporating feedback. 

 Small businesses need to be able to speed up their internal innovation by repurposing the knowledge, resources, and technology already at hand. It is common in industries where continuous improvement and agile methodologies are adapted, but the concepts are foreign to small businesses. Solutions to innovation are by understanding the best action you can take is to act in a way which prompts continuous improvement.

3 Lessons Learnt when Hiring Creatives

Hiring Creatives

3 Lessons Learnt when Hiring Creatives

Finding the right creatives are difficult when you are trying to find a team who can inspire life into your ideas – you need someone who is consistently thinking about the bigger picture. Creatives themselves are a different breed, they thrive on the ability to be able to create something with everything they are doing. Hiring creatives are challenging, but they are a few things you can do to find the right type for your company.

1. Ideations formed from Strategy

Some creatives understand every idea can have legs, and it is up to them to make them walk. The understanding the communication behind designs and all the distant phenomenon as they can bring together from their work. From experience, it is when the  “creative juice” just flows through you, and you feel energised to bring these ideas to life. There is truth to the saying of ideas are not worthwhile and the true value comes from the execution. When creatives understand how to execute their ideas with their work, they’re able to expand these ideas into other areas of operations. 

2. Creatives Who Have Tried Everything

“The best creative people need to know a lot about a little and a little about a lot. They naturally live on the edge but know how to exist in the middle. So look for people who’ve lived lots regardless of their age. People who’ve moved around plenty but were passionate about every place they’ve been. Ultimately, you’re looking for a dynamic mix of educated, eclectic and energetic.”

3. Be Unique

When looking to find a creative for your business it is also important to think outside of the box. Sometimes adding more hoops with more incentives can nurture the right applications for your business. There are limited creatives in the world, why not stand out by doing something unique.  The best kind of scenario asks candidates to solve an open-ended problem by allowing them to come up with their own solutions and their skills. Look outside your own box and make sure he or she is passionate, honest, and in touch on a personal level with your industry and the world of style, art and fashion. 

Any company hiring a top-level creative executive must first and foremost have complete trust in a shared vision. Creating authenticity by finding their experience and unique ability to activate demand by understanding the ethos of this market. 

 

3 Reasons To Restructure With Creatives Now

Creative Strategist Restructuring

3 Reasons To Restructure With Creatives Now

The Pandemic has shown businesses struggle to pivot as they are not prepared to reallocate resources at a seconds notice. To be able to thrive in a virus-free world, companies need to reinvest into creative experts. It was a luxury in the past to see creativity as a premium, but now the innovation is required. Companies need to be able to respond resourcefully to the Pandemic and the prospects of a ‘new normal’.

Surviving during COVID has shown businesses need to be able to rethink structures and business models. Revaluating how companies communicate to stakeholders, and how the needs of each group have changed. Consumers have started to hold brands at an even higher standard – expectations have shifted; it’s crucial for content and messaging to be thought through with experts. Strategists are a vital factor of being able to tackle the Pandemic – these specialists are precisely the kind of creatives businesses need at this moment.

Business owners have been exploiting creatives and passionate workers for a very long time. Not only are creative jobs more likely to be underpaid globally, but creatives are expected to do work without pay; as the underlying assumption, they work hard out of passion not to make a living. A 2019 Duke study found that “People find it more acceptable for managers to ask passionate workers to work extra hours without additional pay, sacrifice sleep and family time, and take on demeaning tasks outside of their job descriptions.”

Social Media was a great outlet where we saw video content (TikTok) flourish with creative ideas. Facing uncertain times, companies need creativity to succeed as being able to benefit during these times is to be able to improve continuously. Business owners have had to expand their resources for creative inspiration. Collaboration is now necessary, and brainstorming meetings look much different than they did barely a year ago.

1. Creatives Driving Digital Maturity

Industries have been driven to digital transformation at an accelerated pace with the anchor being the innovative approach. Journalism has seen an increased demand in digital resources and a high decline in print media, which will make the industry’s move to digital go even faster. Virtual consumption has seen a considerable rise – as well as the development of high-quality distance learning solutions. Creative capability, mixed with companies’ technology capabilities have been driving investments on solutions to bring people together.

The move to digital has always been here, but COVID has made it a reality. Companies with reduced budgets will see an increase in hiring self-employed and freelancers as cutting costs have been an industry standard. With the rise of unemployment and many jobs seeing closure due to unforeseen events, businesses are cutting prices to reduce the bleeding and giving opportunities to freelancers as shifts to finding cost-effective solutions.

 

Integrating creatives into your digital transformation allow for an integrated marketing approach where you can reflect a consistent message. Marketers have to audit their technology usage as what they have been using could be overpriced and more of a luxury than a necessity. To consider how to map out their customer’s journey across their digital transformation and how you can connect at each touchpoint.

2. Rethink Today For A Better Tomorrow

To be able to succeed you need to rethink your metrics and how you need to build today for a better tomorrow. Understanding the possibilities start with catering to the shift in the market caused by the influx of consumer behaviours have shifted.

Businesses will need to look at increasing investments and building presences by using digital platforms within their digital business model. Looking to integrate search engine optimisations, advertising, artificial intelligence through conversational marketing, and online media.

The current demands have led assumptions on shopping to be accompanied by a complete virtual arena, while physical stores will be changed to aid your digital experience. In contrast, restaurants will turn into experiential and recreational joints depending on when dine ins can operate in a COVID Normal world.

Digital marketers will see a shift in responsibility as the current market has opportunities; only a few can stomach. Many entrepreneurs will see an opportunity in the changing needs of the digital market and move to take it up as a profession.

3. Finding Partnerships For Sustainable Growth

Rethink possibilities by picturing the bigger picture with understanding how others play a part in your digital transformation story. Transforming digitally for the future requires restructuring your present to be a formidable foe to the obstacles in front. Grouping with other businesses allows for symbiotic partnerships where both companies can thrive through this pandemic by creating sustainable competitive advantages—leading to multiple benefits, especially for smaller players who are facing higher demands without sacrificing quality.

Creatives Have Value

The Pandemic has shown the usefulness of having creatives on board to find ways to connect with the digital ecoystems. COVID-19 has demonstrated the real problems in society, and to be able to navigate through this – you need an expert. There are abundances of creatives as people with no experience are trying to find ways to upskills. Right now, companies need creatives who can bring value in strategic ideas but in implementation not as a life coach. Right now, creativity is king, and if you want your brand not just to survive, but thrive in a post-COVID world, you will need to invest in creative experts.

 

Design Tips We Wished We Heard When We Started

Design Tips We Wished We Heard When We Started

By now, you should be well entwined with the ethos at Lavon, we like to keep things simple. The time you spend thinking on a business idea leaves more time for your customers to find someone taking action. I have four key areas of design I’ve come to love when it comes to website design, and they are: Navigational Architecture, Simplicity, Colors, and Responsiveness.

Simplicity

It is a trend recently for companies already with an established customer base, to increase the complexities when it comes to purchasing or learning about a product. Let’s take Samsung note 20 – a scroll-based website on key features of the product. There are many reasons why companies do this, one being an online experience, but I think it’s essential to consider the different user experiences in a premium product. I would like to see the heatmaps on this page to see whether not people reach the end or end up leaving the page sooner.

Navigational Architecture

Intuitive navigation is hard to master, but it is when you have your UX team on-board when designing the interface of your website. Prototyping, and receiving feedback on what your customers want during their journey. Ideally, a visitor should land on your site and not have to think extensively about where to click next. Moving from point A to point B should be as frictionless as possible. Designers have come to this by having menus which follow as you scroll, or a sitemap in the footer. Don’t offer too many navigation options per page. Again, simplicity! Include links within your page copy, and make it clear where those links go. Try wireframing your website based on a users journey to see where they end-up.

Don’t make users dig too deep. Try making a basic wireframe map of all your site pages arranged like a pyramid: Your homepage is at the top, and each linked page from the previous forms the next layer. In most cases, it’s best to keep your map no more than three levels deep. 

Colours

Basically, don’t use a lot. The Handbook of Computer-Human Interaction recommends using a maximum of five (plus or minus two) different colors in your design. Typefaces: The typefaces you choose should be highly legible, so nothing too artsy and very minimal script fonts, if any. For text color, again, keep it minimal and always make sure it contrasts with the background color. A common recommendation is to use a maximum of three different typefaces in a maximum of three different sizes. Graphics: Only use graphics if they help a user complete a task or perform a specific function (don’t just add graphics willy-nilly).

Consistency

In addition to keeping your navigation consistent, the overall look and feel of your site should be similar across all of your site’s pages. Backgrounds, color schemes, typefaces, and even the tone of your writing are all areas where consistency has a positive impact on usability and UX. That’s not to say every page should follow the same layout. Instead, create different layouts for specific types of pages (e.g., landing pages, informational pages, etc.). By using those layouts consistently, you’ll make it easier for visitors to understand what type of information they’re likely to find on a given page.

Responsiveness

We are all using them, don’t think your customers aren’t – they require a dynamic experience across multiple channels, don’t let your customers choose others who are better