Director of IT at HNI
You can find inspiration for your business just about anywhere you look — even in the trunk of a car, and especially if that trunk contains a chimpanzee.
I'm talking about "Trunk Monkeys," a fictional auto option offered by a car dealership in Oregon.
Trunk Monkeys get their owners out of all sorts of jams. They deliver babies on the side of the road (click to view). They chase down kids who egg your car (click to view). They even keep your teenage daughter's date on the up and up (watch the video below):
The thing about the Trunk Monkey ads is that they all end with "Another innovative idea you'll only find at Suburban Auto Group" (or some variation of that tagline).
So what can trunk monkeys teach us about innovation? What makes the trunk monkey idea "innovative," exactly? Let's unpack the concept by looking at three types of innovation.
Trunk Monkeys and the 3 Types of Innovation
Why Your Organization Won't Thrive Without Innovation
Trunk Monkeys are a silly (and fictional) innovative idea. But ignoring innovation is a real, high-stakes game. Businesses that don't innovate eventually will fail as the environment around them — in the form of technology, competition, and regulations — evolves.
Without innovation, you're taking a passive approach to moving your business forward. Your profit model worked like gangbusters when your company was founded. But time marches on, and, with hope, you've adapted to keep up. It's the difference between letting things happen to you and setting a course — active vs. reactive.
Different types of innovation become the rocket booster that will thrust your organization into the future. Innovation will allow your organization to capture opportunities in your industry, making you stand apart from competition. Challenge your people improve products, processes, and services at every turn — and be prepared to be surprised.
What's more, without innovation, your people will get bored — and your customers, too. The best talent in your industry want brain-teasing innovation challenges at work that give them the opportunity to work across functions and to increase the value of your organization. An organization that's satisfied with the status quo likely will fail to delight customers. They'll leave for greener pastures — with other, more dynamic players in your market space.
When you think about the three types of innovation — process, product, or service — what opportunities do you see for your business? Please share in comments!
Photo by kleinAlexis via Pixabay