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How to Convince Upper Management of the Need to Innovate

It’s 2023, and everyone understands the need to innovate. Right? Sigh. Wrong. Sometimes, it takes a little push to get upper management to realize your company’s true potential—which lies firmly rooted in innovation. No matter what industry your organization belongs to, the chances are high that you’ve seen the ramifications of missed innovation opportunities. For example, notable companies like Blockbuster and Nokia have moved on to that great market in the sky. Even with Blockbuster's unparalleled snack aisle and Nokia's Snake game, they succumbed to the failure to innovate and died. RIP. Let’s talk about what you can do to ensure your business doesn’t meet a similar fate.

Why Do Companies Need to Innovate?

Not to be dramatic, but companies need to innovate to stay alive. Innovation will happen in your corner of the market. The only uncertainty surrounding that fact is whether or not it’ll be you doing the innovating. Everyone loves a good underdog story until they’re the ones losing their place at the top. Innovation provides your company with a competitive edge, but it protects your business model and processes against stagnation. Modern consumer demands are…well, demanding. Adaptability is the only way for businesses to keep up.  

Creative Destruction

Creative destruction is perhaps the most compelling argument for the need to innovate. It’s a term coined by 1940s economist Joseph Schumpeter. Creative destruction is used to describe disruptive innovation or advancements that result in the dismantling of established processes and products. Revolution results in destruction, regardless of intention. According to Schumpeter, economic development naturally results in the abandonment of existing dynamics. 


How to Convince Upper Management to Decentralize Innovation

Often, executive leadership is aware of the need to innovate, but it isn’t a priority. Other times, they may understand the urgency of innovation but cannot visualize and implement it within the company. Accordingly, those in management positions might be tasked with business process enhancement or cultural improvement. 

Both of these action items are primary areas of improvement that innovation programs tackle. If your organization has already acknowledged the need to modernize, convincing them of the need to innovate shouldn’t pose a problem. Below, the innovation experts at rready have outlined three ways to convince upper management of the need to innovate. 


Showcase the Benefits

Showcasing the benefits should be an easy one. Innovation initiatives encompass two essential pillars of business, which include:

  1. Company culture - Most innovation programs promote a decentralized approach to innovation. They value the distributed knowledge of employees rather than individual expertise. Employees that feel valued and involved with decision-making are more likely to participate in innovation and contribute to business goals. Higher morale leads to better employee engagement, higher retention, and an overall improvement in workplace productivity.
  2. Value creation - All innovation programs point towards one thing—value. Whether that value is created for the consumer, the company, or the employees who run it, it’s well worth the effort. Innovation initiatives seek to uncover value through R&D, crowdsourcing, and employee engagement. They enhance existing products and discover new revenue opportunities. 

Use Industry Examples

There are countless companies out there that have demonstrated their ability to do innovation right. For example, Samsung’s Strategy and Innovation Center facilitates startup collaboration to support technological advancements. Another exemplary case of innovation in action is Lego Ideas. Anyone can submit an idea or design for a new lego set. 

Then, if their creation is selected, it goes into production, with a portion of the profit going to the original inventor. This program not only provides Lego with a seemingly endless stream of ideas via crowdsourcing but also encourages consumers to connect with the company. Being innovative idea people, we were going to submit our ideas to Lego, but the world isn't rready for those masterpieces yet. One of the best ways to convince upper management of the need to innovate is by showing them clear examples of businesses like yours profiting from their innovation efforts.  

Provide a Clear Solution

Who wants to hear about a problem without a solution? No one, that’s who. Once you’ve made your case for the need for innovation, consider providing an immediate plan of action. Launching an innovation program might seem like an uphill battle if your company doesn’t currently have any internal resources dedicated to innovation. 


Getting Started With rready

Thankfully, there are innovative programs that are perfect for companies looking to weave innovation into their daily operations for the first time. Behold, the KICKBOX. rready's KICKBOX provides companies with employee engagement initiatives, methodology and coaching, and the idea management technology you'll need to get your program off the ground. If you want to shop around, check out our compare and contrast of the top innovation management providers on the market!

Hey, you need to innovate, and we want to help, every step of the way. If you are rready to get your innovation project off the ground and your employees motivated and engaged, Contact us or schedule a demo below to find out more.

Get started today