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Embracing Radical Innovation

That’s needed for every business to stay relevant. It’s not staying on the spot and following the process that works, and it’s not disrupting the market with a totally new product. It’s just a solid focus on innovation while disrupting what’s normal for the market. So, radical is what you do with your innovative process, not how you behave on the market.

This is the  Netflix versus Blockbuster story. When Netflix launched they were just a niche movie company for nerds, and Blockbuster was dominating the DVD rentals market. But internet disrupted the market, and Netflix was more suitable for the new way of delivering movies, while Blockbuster failed to adapt its business model and had to close doors.

Radical innovation is different. John Deer, e farming equipment company, started equipping tractors with sensors so farmers could track and monitor their yields. There was a potential for big data and the company understood this as a potential increase the capacity of delivering services with the existing technology. Now farmers can analyze the data gathered using the equipment mentioned and specialized software.

And if you remember the first iPhone, ages ago started with the ambition not to be just a phone. Now almost all the phones are smart, and at that moment – in 2007 – it was radical to believe that a phon could be used in all aspects of personal and professional life. A whole industry can learn from this lesson and can thank for the opportunity of radical, not disruptive change.

But, why is this difference relevant?! Why Netflix should care that change was disrupting and Blockbuster disappeared? While the answer is not easy, there is something to take into account. Radical innovation impacts the industry in a good way focusing on the long term, while disruptive innovations make the difference between those who could adapt and those who could not, making it compulsory even for the consumer to adapt.

For a company to embrace radical change, creativity must be encouraged within employees. A think tank won’t create a perfect product, but creative employees not afraid to share their ideas will be able by continuously improving various features to bring a better product or service on the market. Companies should, of course, allow for failure, experiment with everything possible, and – that’s important – embrace feedback, good and bad.