There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for achieving business greatness. However, there are several things you can do to improve your odds.”Where do you acquire your ideas?” is a question that every successful entrepreneur despises.
There isn’t a single correct solution. You don’t get great business ideas because you want them to. At best, they emerge intermittently from your brain’s metaphysical soup, a vast bowl of memories, sensations, and random facts. While there is no secret recipe for achieving business greatness, there are steps you can do to improve your chances.
Consider Canada’s startups, which are living evidence that creative thought can take many forms. (Did anybody foresee an online snowboard store being the country’s biggest publicly traded corporation?) It’s all about establishing the environment that encourage innovation for these businesses.
Here are seven techniques to improve your business’s idea generation.
Consider yourself an artist.
Nanoleaf, a young cleantech business, set out to create the world’s most energy efficient lightbulb in 2013. That is exactly what happened. The issue was that the lighting was overpriced, and sales were low. “We knew then that broadening our market appeal was the key to having a bigger effect,” says Gimmy Chu, co-founder and CEO. As a result, Nanoleaf’s approach grew reliant on stunning aesthetics.
The business assembled a team of top-notch designers and replaced lights with technicolour, LED wall panels that simulated sunlight. These new gadgets would be able to respond to music and human touch, be controlled by phones and tablets, and yet be energy efficient. With headquarters in Toronto, Paris, and Shenzhen, the firm now distributes items in 45 countries and supports anything from art installations to therapeutic activities. “If you want to build something groundbreaking, something people adore, you have to think like an artist,” Chu says of his team’s progress.
Allow your staff to be flexible.
Flex hours, according to studies, boost productivity and promote talent acquisition and retention. Just ask Shonezi Noor, the director of operations at Sampler in Toronto. Noor had previously had a concussion, but the company’s progressive HR standards enabled her to flourish in her new position. Noor might start work earlier in the morning when she had a physiotherapy session in the afternoon; if she felt light-headed, she could go home and make up the time later.
“The team has always made me feel important,” Noor adds, “and now, owing to my recuperation, I am able to completely devote myself.” Working a fixed amount of hours isn’t what makes Sampler a good employee. It’s all about reaching objectives in the most efficient way possible. Nonetheless, creator and CEO Marie Chevrier acknowledges that flex hours may be challenging to adopt, so she advises those interested to conduct pilots, engage in platforms like Slack and Zoom, make all work calendars public, and never cease checking in with staff. With the majority of Canadians opting to work remotely in the midst of the continuing coronavirus outbreak, this method is more vital than ever.
Enlist the assistance of non-humans
Yes, it’s time to bring up the subject of dogs. Canine employees are more than just walking hugs; they also lower stress, encourage physical exercise, and foster team connection, all of which are wonderful components for coming up with creative ideas. Having dogs in the workplace also saves employees money on pricey walkers and caregivers. It’s no wonder, however, that companies like SoapBox (a software firm that prides itself on establishing meaningful employee connections) hire canine companions to promote culture and attract hardworking people. SoapBox observed an instant increase in productivity after integrating the team’s five furry pals, as well as an increase in unchewed shoes. Brennan McEachran, the company’s founder and CEO, is constantly inspired by his canine companions. But how would he approach business owners who are undecided about interspecies workplaces? McEachran asks, “Why are you sceptical?” “Who doesn’t like dogs?” says the narrator.
Study folks who aren’t like you.
COVID-19 has been spreading swiftly out of Wuhan for nine days before the World Health Organization issued a formal declaration about it. BlueDot, a Toronto-based business, had previously warned its customers about it.
The company’s remarkable AI system (informed by an apparently limitless pool of public health sources, moderated reports, news feeds, aircraft schedules, and other data) was created to foresee such a disaster. It wasn’t constructed in a day, however.
Dr. Kamran Khan, the company’s founder and CEO, worked diligently for seven years to gather a varied team of more than 50 professionals — physicians, data scientists, geographers, veterinarians, software engineers, epidemiologists, and so on — to power and fine-tune the mind of his machine. Dr. Khan claims that BlueDot would not be in such a prominent position without his multicultural staff, which has been enlisted by heads of state to assist monitor and manage the coronavirus. He explains, “We had to learn one other’s languages and grasp each other’s viewpoints.” The whole globe is now attempting to eradicate COVID-19, with the objective of destroying the virus.
Demonstrate empathy with strangers
When entrepreneurs keep other people in mind, they typically come up with the finest ideas. Stephen Ufford and Tanis Jorge, both from Vancouver, had previously created and sold three data-driven firms and were seeking for a way to use technology to do more good in the world.
They founded Trulioo in 2011 after hearing a TV programme in which an Indian lady was brought to tears when she saw her Facebook page for the first time. Nearly one billion individuals in the developing world lack an identification record, making it hard for them to benefit from something as basic as a bank account.
Trulioo set out to remedy that by validating digital identities and increasing transaction security, making financial services more equitable and inclusive. Ufford and Jorge have said, “We’re on a mission to ensure that no one is left behind and that everyone can participate in the contemporary digital economy.” Trulioo’s patented technology may verify up to five billion persons and 250 million enterprises by 2018.
And the startup’s ability to empathise is being lauded. Trulioo was named to the World Economic Forum’s 20th cohort of Technology Pioneers this past June, an unrivalled selection of companies having the greatest potential to boost global wealth and well-being.
Turn your suffering into a motivator.
Trying to mend internal wounds might also result in entrepreneurial goodwill. Adam Blackman discovered newfound meaning as a businessperson after going through a lot of personal anguish. Blackman’s life was flipped upside down when his 91-year-old grandmother, Rose, started experiencing a variety of health difficulties. She rapidly deteriorated in and out of hospitals before dying in a nursing home.
Devastated, Blackman decided to make it his professional mission to better assist the elderly. “Everyone should be able to age in place,” he argues. “At that point, I recognised that technology could, and should, play a larger role.” Blackman is now the co-founder and CEO of Mavencare, a company that offers seniors with tailored healthcare and speciality therapy. And the importance of elder care has never been greater.
Long-term care facilities in Canada have been hit hard by the epidemic, accounting for about 80% of all COVID-19-related fatalities. By 2050, the UN estimates that 1.9 billion people would be over the age of 65. These sobering figures are driving Canadians to reconsider their health-care options. “We’re all attempting to address big social concerns for the public good, not for personal benefit,” Blackman argues.
Have faith in your staff
There is no such thing as a CEO who knows everything. The key is to be surrounded by competent individuals who can guide you in the correct way. There’s nothing like a worldwide epidemic to bring people’s attention to something.
Dave Caputo was driven to help front-line employees when the COVID-19 issue struck. His company, Trusscore, based in Palmerston, Ont., specialised in construction materials and had produced big, extruded panels to aid hog farmers in the fight against African swine disease.
But what about the human sickness in question? Caputo and his crew realised during a brainstorming session that their barriers might be rebuilt as hospital-grade temporary walls at a rate of 400 per day. Caputo was able to both battle the coronavirus and establish new business prospects by listening to his people and trusting their abilities. Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took note, mentioned Trusscore in one of his daily coronavirus news briefings, which helped the firm raise $5.33 million in an oversubscribed fundraising round in May.