Time is of the essence. To thrive in today’s chaotic and uncertain marketplace, your business needs to employ a number of changes to transition successfully to the New Normal.
The time to transform your enterprise is now.
In this post, we’ll discuss what innovation is and what it isn’t. Then we’ll make a case for why your organization needs to develop a sustainable capability now. Not tomorrow, not in the long-term, but now.
What is innovation?
Innovation comes from the Latin term ionnovae. Later that became innovatio, which led to innovate and innovation. Merriam-Webster defines innovation as a new idea, method, or device. Another definition is the introduction of something new.
Let’s look at another more explanatory definition that gives more context. An article in Harvard Business School Online defines innovation as:
“… a product, service, business model, or strategy that’s both novel and useful. Innovations don’t have to be major breakthroughs in technology or new business models; they can be as simple as upgrades to a company’s customer service or features added to an existing product.”
From this definition, you can see the various applications to logistics. Now let’s look at what’s not considered innovation to avoid any confusion about this definition.
What innovation isn’t
Innovation does not mean achieving best business practices. By definition, best business practices are already established (by the competition) in your industry.
Stephen Shapiro goes so far to title his book, Best Business Practices are Stupid. He makes the case that by benchmarking your competition, you’re falling behind as your coemption moves on to the next thing.
One caveat Shapiro makes is that innovation and best business practices may be innovative. If your business is the first to implement another industry’s best business practices, then you’re introducing an innovation.
The key is that those business practices are not best business practices in your industry.
Why you need to develop a sustainable innovation capability now
There are at least two compelling reasons to innovate now. The first and most basic reason is survival. Claudio Feser, author of Serial Innovators, cited some inescapable facts about businesses.
In looking at the life cycle of businesses, Feser pointed out that the average life expectancy is 15 years. That’s not a long time. As time goes on, it doesn’t get any better.
Specifically, the data show that only one out of 20 businesses are around for 50 years. So, the passage of time alone is stacked against you.
The most compelling reason for creating a sustainable innovation capability now is that the logistics industry is in transition from pre-pandemic times. Operating based on a playbook that runs on a set-piece system that no longer works. Therefore, you need to transform your supply chain as you transition to a more dynamic, risky, and unstable marketplace.
This may sound ominous and maybe even overwhelming. But it’s not. You can leverage today’s chaotic times as an incentive to transform while you transition.
Daunting as that may seem, there’s a more compelling reason to adopt innovation now.
Creating opportunity out of chaos
As intimidating as the data above are, there’s a potential to benefit from today’s chaos. One way to do that is by to creating opportunities out of chaos. Just as the pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology, likewise, it can accelerate the adoption of innovation.
If you adopt innovation and systematize it into your operations, you can turn disruption into a competitive advantage. You can do that by:
- Creating opportunities with new insights to become more adaptable.
- Create more value for your customers, improving customer loyalty.
- Creating conditions that promote growth amid instability.
- Improving your brand, leaping ahead of the competition.
- Surviving and thriving for many years.
Innovation is a power tool. When you use it systematically, you can generate innovative solutions to new problems in a seamless and cost-efficient manner.
What next steps should you take?
It’s not only important to build a sustainable innovation capability, it’s necessary. The chaos, challenges, and demands of transitioning to the New Normal require it.
Disruption is the new order of the day. You could say it always was, but now it’s more pervasive, persistent, and impactful.
Here’s the harsh truth you probably already know. You need new solutions to new problems. To develop new solutions, you must do something different.
Since time is not on your side, you need to make a firm decision right now to develop new solutions. And you must do so sustainably.
At American Global Logistics, we approach new problems with a fresh perspective. Each one of our clients is unique with a unique set of challenges.
To address your challenges, we’ll partner with you to learn about your needs, challenges, and priorities. We do that to ensure the problems you need to solve get solved. As a customer-focused 3PL, we put your needs, challenges, and priorities first.
Contact us today to get ahead of the New Normal and the competition.