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Principles of Small Innovation

We live in a fast-paced, instant gratification global society that adores big. The next big thing. The big innovation. The approach of big innovation isn't ideal for small laboratories. Small innovations are the best growth strategy for your business.

by Darrell Zahorsky
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We live in a fast-paced, instant gratification global society that adores big. The next big thing. The big innovation. The approach of big innovation isn't ideal for small laboratories. Small innovations are the best growth strategy for your business.

Principles of Small Innovation

  • Free Time: Time is a necessary resource for innovation. You don't need a 25-hour day to solve your time resource problem. It's simply a matter of clearing your business from the clutter of old time consuming practices, outdated technology, time wasting habits, and using outsourcing.

  • Collect Ideas: Innovative ideas can occur at any place or anytime. The best way to grab the small innovative ideas is not to discover them and think about it later. It's too easy to forget or quickly rationalize that it's too simple. Just carry around a small pocket notebook, a tape recorder, or a few sticky notes.

  • Look Outside: No matter how good an innovation is, use not only the knowledge and skills within your business, but outside resources to succeed including capital, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and strong relationships with suppliers.

  • Use All Types Of Innovation: Many of us think of small innovations as an improvement on an existing procedure, operation, or product. This form of innovation is linear and is often necessary to make your business better. But other forms of innovation exist such as the unexpected or simple innovation.

    Small innovations can end up being a big innovation even when they appear simple at first. In 1998, Google's founders were busy building the code for the search engine and needed a home page so they put up a simple page with lots of white space. This simple small innovation was instrumental to Google's success and led to faster download times.

  • Make a Daily Habit: Innovation doesn't often occur in a meeting or at a desired time. Small innovations occur at anytime and anyplace. Make it a daily practice to apply innovation to your small business and implement your best ideas.

Innovation has no geographic boundaries and the game of innovation is open globally and locally. Your laboratory can gain the competitive advantage by applying these principles of small innovation.