The formula for innovating does not seem difficult. First, find a sticking point. Then make it disappear.
If only it were that simple.
Trying to reinvent ways to solve common problems and fill gaps requires imaginative thinking. It also takes a willingness to invest time, intelligence and money in reinvention. These may be in low demand, especially in today’s fast-paced economy. Fortunately, many entrepreneurs and organizations have a desire to be agents of change. And their findings continue to shake businesses and society in evolutionary ways.
Consider drones. Today, more than 850,000 drones have been registered with the FAA. They are used for everything from meteorology and mapping to disaster relief and deliveries. In fact, Gartner predicted that drone shipments would explode almost tenfold between 2019 and 2023. Yet only a decade ago, drone technology seemed relegated to military and hobbyist pursuits. So what happened? The innovators saw beyond the obvious capabilities of the drone. As a result, drones have become normal tools for many individuals, businesses, and governments.
Other innovations are just as exciting, revolutionary and sometimes even life-changing. Below are three that are shaking up their respective industries and could inspire your next business ventures.
Innovation in the field of health: improving accessibility to patient data.
Research and development is a daily practice in medicine and life sciences. However, bringing something like a new pharmaceutical product to market can be extremely slow. Typically, it takes about $1.4 billion and up to 20 years before a drug is introduced to the public. In the meantime, doctors and patients must wait.
So what is part of the heist? Access to clean and annotated data can play a major role. Without the ability to quickly use and understand data, research and development professionals cannot accelerate their decision making. As a result, they are unable to move forward as they are bogged down by analyzing and processing dated data.
Thomas Swalla, CEO of Dotmatics, is one of the innovators who set out to solve this problem. Cloud software company ARR’s AI-powered digital platform was designed to cut scientists’ data integration time by 70% and documentation time by half. Dotmatics taps into the life science research and development market and works with well-known companies like Novartis, as well as top research universities like MIT. And according to their client René van den Bersselaar, Global Head IT and CIO at Debiopharm, their partnership helps bring new therapies to patients faster.
Business leaders need to be able to trust the validity of their data. In addition, they must be able to collect and store them in a way that is easy and convenient to use. Having a data management plan in place helps limit data inaccuracies and inefficiencies. Data management can serve as a basis for internal innovations. It can even be a brand differentiator since most companies do not master the data governance process.
If you want to manage your data, start by understanding the data you collect. Once you have a better understanding of the data flowing through your organization, you can design how it is cleaned, retained, and used. Remember that error-free data can be the key to eliminating time-consuming manual tasks.
Construction Innovation: A “siloless” approach to architectural design and construction.
In the world of architecture and construction, designing and constructing spaces has always been a siled process. A designer focuses on developing the overall framework and aesthetics. The plan is then passed on to a builder to bring the vision to life. Yet movement between these two components tends to be awkward for all parties, including the client.
This lack of bridge between architectural design and construction seemed unnatural and unnecessary to Amanda Gunawan. Her solution was to bring all the pieces together through the design company she partners with, OWIU. The, building projects don’t just switch hands. The OWIU maps and oversees the trip.
It’s no different than what’s happening in other industries, like full-service financial advisory. Concierge financial advisors often handle all of the wealth management needs of wealthy clients. This creates a complete end-to-end experience. Bringing the same principle to the world of architectural projects could be revolutionary.
What is the main lesson of this innovation? It’s a reminder to identify and remove siled processes. Whether silos operate vertically or horizontally, they can become barriers to healthy collaboration and productivity. By fostering open exchanges of information between teams, executives and managers can avoid silo pitfalls like resistance to change and duplication of effort.
Think about silos in your business. Are they adding or taking away value from your operations? Work with your team to break down silos by identifying and eradicating their sources.
Education Innovation: Accelerated education opportunities help overcome labor shortages.
over a million new nurses will be needed by the end of 2022, according to US News and World Reports. Unfortunately, nurses are in high demand, but not available. Along with other healthcare workers, countless nurses have chosen to leave the medical field. This has placed the healthcare market in a situation of employment crisis.
Carrus, a provider of health-related education, is actively working with companies like Walgreens and CVS to accelerate certain medical careers. Take the role of technician, for example. Many people want to become technicians but don’t want to wait to start their career. The power of online training, virtual certification programs and other learning vehicles helps connect job seekers with healthcare employers.
The sooner medical personnel can familiarize themselves with the skills they need to succeed, the sooner they can advance to positions in the field. Accelerated education requires supervision and preparation, of course. Nonetheless, it could be the perfect answer to upskill workers and get them into medical jobs quickly.
Currently, more than half of small business owners say they are have difficulty filling open roles. Could they possibly attract more talent by setting up educational pathways for people who lack skills but have potential? By investing in the creation of a proprietary curriculum, organizations could position their brands as places to learn, work and grow.
Even small companies can provide excellent training for the right candidates. Don’t worry: you won’t have to break the bank to create everything from scratch. Consider leveraging a cloud-based edtech training platform to become the framework for an exceptional employee training experience.
Innovation will never stop happening because new pain points will always appear. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with using big innovations to inform and refresh your daily practices.