The consultancy industry has a lot to offer the SME sector. The industry has several aspects ranging from strategy consulting to social media consulting. Consulting professionals strive to study every aspect of the business; they also identify the weaknesses and strengths of businesses with a view to repositioning the business for better productivity. They leverage on the positives, thereby causing improvement in the business’s strength. Over the last two decades, a new aspect of consulting known as innovation consulting has evolved. This evolution has helped businesses in a number of ways.
Innovation consultants deploy their expertise in various way in approaching innovation consulting. These approaches can be broken down into three primary approaches:
- Larger firms offer innovation consulting as part of management consulting
- Some boutiques choose innovation consulting as their primary focus. They offer expertise in this crucial and essential area.
- Innovation consultant concentrates on product design and technology with a view to offering innovative ways of doing business.
Is your brand still innovating?
Top brands must always strive to remain relevant in their respective industries; else they can be replaced by a small innovating brand. Brands like Apple and Amazon are constantly pursuing ways to exceed customer expectations by offering innovative products. Conversely, companies like Sony and Motorola that were known as innovation giants several years ago are currently struggling to remain relevant despite their enormous investment in innovation strategies. This struggle couple with the need for companies to remain relevant gave birth to innovation consulting.
It is worthy of note that some businesses that started out as innovative ventures often lose value after a while. Rather than investing in an innovative strategy to remain relevant, they invest massively in other areas that may not really help the business to grow. Innovation consultant strives to help businesses design a business plan that will align business goals with industry demands.
How consultant creates an ecosystem of ideas and culture of innovation
For consultants to truly build an ecosystem of innovation within a company. Innovation consultants need to understand companies short-term and long-term plans, Without understanding a companies strategy and DNA, long-term innovation will not be sustainable or possible.
Innovation is not bottom up, it has to start from the top and filter down. The importance of having a culture that supports innovation is critical. And having old-school methods, lots of red tape and politics leave little chance of innovation. Innovation consultants analyse and view an organisation as an outsider, for them to recognise the challenges the organisation is facing. Having identified the challenges, consultants will deploy their expertise with a view to solving said challenges.
Sometimes, it is difficult for companies to apply paradigm shift in their organisational culture and ethics. However, innovation consultants can deploy their cross-industry expertise to help the company try new ways of doing business, thereby making the organisation more productive.
Due to an organisation’s culture and ethics, asking certain questions by others may be difficult. But innovation consultants are trained to ask those salient questions like “Why are you doing it this way”? Response to these questions will enable the consultant to provide a solution to the organisation’s challenges.
Because consultants combine ideas, skills, methods, and processes from other industries, they tend to be more proficient creating innovation to solve a company’s challenge.
Why would your business require an innovation consultant?
- Due to the volume of work in your company, your employees may not have the capacity to deliver jobs within a specific timeframe. It is in view of this that businesses hire a consultant to assist in this regard, thereby meeting customers demand and helping with any overload.
- When an organisation requires a particular expertise that the employees do not possess, the only viable option is to hire a consultant to bridge the needed skill gap.
- There is no business without challenges. Many businesses may not identify and solve these challenges. They sometimes do not have time to study and understand the inherent business challenges. They would rather rely on professional consultants who have fresh and unconventional ideas, unbiased perspective and specific expertise to solve these challenges bedevilling the company.
Be it a new or an evolution of an existing product or service. Innovation consultants are expert in designing and implementing effective processes and methodologies that will enable businesses to solve their challenges with a view to increasing productivity, realigning the company’s goal with industry requirement and primarily improve revenue for the company. Innovation consultants teach people to understand the field of innovation and how to apply it.
About the author:
A founder of multiple startups Hader Ali is an innovation & business consultant.
Hader Ali Consultancy works with startups, SMEs, and large organisations. Specialising in business strategy, product/service development, sales & marketing.
To future-proof your business. Hader Ali Consultancy will work with your company to create an innovation portfolio by providing a framework for structured innovation. All while creating an ecosystem of ideas and a culture of innovation.