Business Innovation Webinar

A webinar about business innovation was attended by 120 trainees who were interested in the new trends of business innovations and how to implement them to create a strong demand of services and products that will positively affect their organizations. This webinar also addressed different methods and practices that will help them adapt and change towards the betterment of their growth and productivity. The main goal of this training is to reinvigorate their business and to thrive in a competitive landscape.

Andersen Training Team

This training was led by Mohammad Hajjar and a team of experts from different industries. Mohamed Hajjar is a business consulting practice at Anderson in Saudi Arabia. He is also the author of a book called “The Art of Designing a New Business”. He worked with Accenture Consulting in the US before transferring to Saudi Arabia. He worked with both the public and private sectors to develop adaptive and forward moving strategies, which was developed in 2015 to enable the successful implementation of strategic innovation initiatives and ensuring that all clients generate tangible results. 

COVID-19 Effect on Businesses

Business innovation is crucial and very important in this era, especially during COVID-19. Real innovation means embracing real change and new opportunities. With the high competition in the market and the hype of social media, failure is a hashtag away. So, the expectations are on the rise. However, at the end innovation pays off. Anderson has witnessed many of their clients’ growths and in some cases that growth was up to 47% despite of changes in policies, technologies, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic.  With COVID-19, the economy had a big hit on businesses. New safety and protocols emerged as a result, creating more challenges. One of the most significant impacts was on the unemployment rate , which had increased worldwide, in addition to shrinkage in the economy in many countries. For example, in Canada there was a 38% decrease of its GDP where in some countries they suffered 3 to 5% of shrinkage in the market. Saudi Arabia and China were the least affected.  

COVID-19 did not only come with drawbacks, yet there were many positives. Some industries were able to survive and thrive during this pandemic, such as, medical supplies, food industry, health care, information technology, ecommerce, and agriculture. On the other hand, many other businesses had been negatively affected, such as, education, financial services, manufactures of non-essential goods, travel, automotive, construction, real estate, and tourism. 

Because of many negative impacts, opportunities were created due to the need of change and open mindedness to accept that change and adapt to it.  And here where we can see the importance of business innovation role. With innovation, we can create sustainable solutions and opportunities and solve problems. Business innovation is not about introducing new products or new services. Innovation is a collective job with diversify minds with the use of technology. There are ten types of innovation ranging from profit model, network structure, process, product performance, product system, service, channel, brand, and customer engagement. Innovation is not about technology; it’s about what technology can do for us.

 Prioritizing innovation is the key for success. It is a critical and essential step for businesses where it increases efficiency and it is financial rewarding. It is a continuous process that leads to economical growth by using all technological and scientific tools. 

What is digital innovation? 

Digital innovation is an intersection between a need and novelty. Its purpose is to serve to solve a problem and to provide solution to many challenges. Some examples of digital innovation are AI, IoT, and blockchain. Throughout the years, there were many waves of innovations. Innovation helps you be more adaptable throughout the rapid waves of change. One way to face these changes is by digital disruption. Over the years, digital disruption reshaped almost every industry that needed the urgency for transformation. It helps to analyze opportunities & threats and design strategies. Some examples of incremental digital disruption were observed in media, finance, government, and business sector. With digital disruption the method of delivering the service changed, but the function remained the same. Another example of disruptive innovation is Google Maps. People can’t live without Google Maps anymore, and it has been integrated in many sectors which changed the way people are doing their businesses. Some business models were built based on the feedback of the customers.

Challenges faced by business.

There are some challenges that businesses face. Some of these challenges are client relationship, inefficient operations, weak controls, cross branch optimization, knowing your customers, time money laundering, global transfers, and many others.  To solve these obstacles business innovation is a must. We need to change the business model, how we operate, provide new services that did not exist, and create new partnership with different clients and suppliers. So, the whole landscape changed and we must adapt to it. 

Digital transformation is leading innovation with eight trends. Those trends are the digital-ready culture, democratization of innovation, composable enterprise, automation, API security, microservices, the data divide, and data analytics. We can combine many of these trends to provide seamless solution instead of starting from scratch again. Most of these trends revolve around three things; a better understanding of your customers, becoming efficient and building security around your organizations. Innovation is possible by using technology clusters to unlock unique pathways. 

Skills needed by Business Innovators

So, how do people feel around innovation? And what skills and traits are needed? 

We can’t stress enough that innovation is a continuous process and it does not stop. It is a way of living within an organization. Some of innovators that we know throughout history excelled to bring the best business models, such as. Steve Jobs, Thomas Addison, and Elon Musk. Some common traits between these innovators that they questioned everything, they were not afraid of experimenting, they observed, and shared their ideas. 

How to get it done? 

So, Mohammad Hajjar ended his webinar stating; ideas can be great, but if it is not implemented successfully, then we can’t achieve the benefits we desire. Ideas inspire; executions deliver. So, before making any changes we need to check the road map of digital maturity and readiness of an organization.  Thus, the success of business innovation is possible through a holistic and adaptive approach for the organization and to achieve this we need to identify the priorities to ensure successful innovation, have a structured approach, focus on quick wins with long term plans, and embed change management approach. Remember, without moving forward, we will be left behind. It is vital that business leaders foster an environment where innovation is a natural part of company culture.

Trainees Feedback about the “Business Innovation” Webinar

Trainees were ecstatic about what they have learned and appreciated all the time and efforts Hajjar and the team had put into providing such valuable techniques and information about how can business innovation completely expand their business especially in a competitive market, increase their customer demands, and moreover use challenges, such as COVID-19 to overcome and transform their organizations.