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Innovation Conversation Part 2: The art of experimentation

In the first instalment of our new innovation blog, we looked at how businesses can begin their path towards innovation with a simple conversation.

Once the talking is over, it's then onto the doing.

So what is the shortest and fastest way to implement innovation? There isn't one. Innovation is about trying. Then trying. Then trying again.

Many successful businesses have got to where they are today by not being afraid to give new ideas and approaches a go.

The billionaire mastermind behind Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is a big believer in experimenting. In fact, he's mad about it: “I encourage our employees to go down blind alleys and experiment,” he once said. “We've tried to create tools to reduce the cost of doing experiments so that we can do more of them. If you can increase the number of experiments you try from a hundred to a thousand, you dramatically increase the number of innovations you produce.”

As Bezos eludes to, the cost of experimentation has never been lower. Prototyping is now more rapid, computer simulations more advanced and many organisations have direct links to their customers through IT tools, enabling timely feedback on new products and services.

Alongside test and protocols, comprehensive innovation metrics can help to measure and guide an organisation towards innovation enlightenment. Innovation projects with formal measurement practices in place – be it technology-enabled or manual – are almost twice as likely to be successful than those with no processes in place, according to research.

Yet there is no single replicable model for experimentation. While businesses can apply structure to their experimentation, technology is transforming the world at such a pace that to truly make an impact, there must also be an element of bravely stepping out into the unknown.

In early July, Liquid Telecom will be holding the first of many innovation workshops called Innovation Conversation, where we will bring together African enterprises to share their innovation stories and strategies.

We will look at the shared challenges facing businesses in Africa and explore what technology solutions are available to help overcome them. We will also encourage companies to reflect on some of the lessons from experimenting with new approaches, services and products, and ask what they can do differently next time to position themselves further along the path to successful innovation.

To speak with one of our innovation experts to find out more, get in touch: info@liquidtelecom.com

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