With technology all around us, we would think that the bulk of humanity is ever ready to embrace new innovation and progress onward. Let us take a deeper dive to understand the concept of innovation and how people react to it.
First, let us explore the 3 types of innovation starting with product innovations, service innovations, and process innovations. Product innovation concerns the innovation of physical products, products that are tangible. In contrast to physical products, services innovation consists of the not tangible outputs. Therefore, what product innovations and service innovations have in common is that they concern the output of organizations in terms of what they deliver to the outside world. Process innovation on the other hand concerns innovation in how a firm conducts its activities.
What is more interesting is the adoption of innovations which means the acceptance of innovation by people in society or it's specific markets. In general, we all know that there will be a group of people who are open to new things and others who have difficulty dealing with change and adoption innovation. Most often, we think that we are probably in the first group, but let us look at the adoption life cycle introduced by the prominent American scholar, Everett Rogers, in his book called The Fusion of Innovations. The adoption life cycle represents the number of people that adopt a certain innovation over time, starting at the moment at which an innovation becomes available.
Bell Curve: Innovation Adoption Lifecycle
Everett Rogers divided the graph into five sections. The first group of people is referred to as the Innovators. Innovators are people that do not have difficulty dealing with the complexity of new technologies or innovations. The second category of people are Early Adopters. This group is not focused on the technology itself, but they are more enthusiastic about potential applications of an innovation. The third category is referred to as the Early Majority. The orientation of these
people is more practical. They want to see practical proof of how the innovation can be useful to them. The fourth category is the Late Majority, they desire to see even more proof before adopting. If they purchase a product, they want to be sure that they purchased the product from the firm that has the strongest support system surrounding that new product. And finally the fifth category,
the Laggards, are people who generally skeptical.
Photo by: Ross Findon
Now because you are reading this, thankfully you probably do not belong in the last group. General Erik Shineski said this, "If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevancy even less." So now maybe you are thinking how can I innovate my insurance agency. To that, you should start to think of your innovation strategy and why does it matter.
An innovation strategy answers questions such as where to invest your resources, how to protect your innovations, and which organizational structures and processes you need to set up. Having an innovation strategy is important simply because no organization has an infinite amount of budget or resources. In addition, business landscapes are continuously changing and organizations need a clear strategic direction to make smart resource investments so that they can stay competitive in the future.
An innovation strategy is different from a firm's overall strategy. The business strategy aims at what the firm, as a whole, wants to achieve, and how to achieve that goal. Although these what and how questions sound familiar to the ones in innovation strategy, but it relates more to the product categories and market segments in which the company positions itself relative to the competitors. Business strategy defines the sequence of strategic actions such as when to expand or launch advertising campaigns and should explain how the firm plans to generate revenues. Therefore, a firm's innovation strategy and business strategy should align and support each other.
Now that you have a better picture of innovation and where your Insurance agency's focus should be. At Insuree, we are positioned to be your agency's innovation partner. 100% independent, we hear what you need and bridge the gap with what insurance consumers want. Innovate your agency today and stay ahead of the game.