Discover how you can help organizations identify their top competitive advantage.
For businesses in today’s dynamic, globalized environment, innovation is vital for both driving growth and gaining an edge over other organizations. Innovation leads to solutions for productivity and the identification of opportunities to cut costs and increase profits. In fact, innovation is so vital for organizations big and small that it has become the top competitive factor. In other words, organizations that have harnessed their innovative potential are succeeding in leaps and bounds and setting new standards within their industry, while those sticking to traditional business methods are getting left behind.
If you’re considering earning an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, you’ll be equipped with the insight, skills and critical thinking necessary to help organizations identify opportunities to innovate and how they can develop processes and initiatives which enable them to stand out among the competition. Below, discover more about what a competitive factor means for businesses and how businesses can increase their innovative potential.
A competitive factor, otherwise known as a competitive advantage, is the thing that gives an organization a leg up over other competitors within the industry. Ultimately, it’s what leads a customer to give their business to one organization instead of another. A competitive advantage can be many things, depending on the sector and size of the organization and the characteristics of the market at the time. For example, a competitive advantage could be a business’ employees, its brand, the type of technology they use, its unique production strategy, how niche or rare its product is, or other factors. If you’re earning your MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, you’ll find that today, the most common competitive advantage comes down to a business's ability to innovate, thinking beyond the traditional confines of their industry and target market.
In order to increase their potential for innovation, organizations must take some steps to encourage innovation within their organization, as well as make the structure and policies conducive to new ideas. First, organizations must define their long-term goals, determining what they want to achieve through innovation. These goals can be broken down into smaller, more manageable steps, making the prospect of an innovative strategy less intimidating. Next, processes to meet these goals must be defined, including a process by which ideas are developed, categorized and executed. Then, organizations must decide how they will measure their progress, identifying the metric that makes the most sense for them. With these changes, businesses can put themselves in a position to innovate, opening themselves up to the generation of new and impactful ideas.
As a student enrolled in an MBA program, it’s important to note that in order to innovate, businesses must be ready to adapt and evolve. Business models in established companies can be difficult to alter, especially if those within organizations are unwilling to risk upending them. One way that businesses are moving around this problem is by investing in pilot projects outside of the main channel of operations to test out new methods and disprove existing conceptions of what works and what doesn’t. Additionally, businesses are putting a higher value on determining and anticipating the needs of their customers as they come to the surface, getting ahead of the game and the competition faster.
Lastly, innovation is impossible without cultivating a company culture that welcomes it. At the end of the day, the most sustainable forms of innovation cannot be outsourced, they are those that come from within an organization, whether it’s an executive or an employee in an entry-level position. Innovation has to be embedded within a business from the bottom up and from the top down to fully succeed in creating and achieving transformative goals. This means that employees must be encouraged to share their ideas within a standardized system, feedback must always be welcomed and considered, and collaboration must be fostered within and among teams. After completing your MBA, you’ll help organizations to develop policies and ways of thinking that work to create this culture, helping them to gain a competitive edge through innovation.
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