Traditional thinking is that innovation is for creative mind and venture capitalists, I beg to differ, innovation can be performed by anyone and at anytime (in fact every time) in any role they are performing, all you need is the ability to dream.
Innovation is not only about creating new products; innovation is about reinventing business process, venturing into new market and meet untapped customer’s need. Innovation may be high in small size companies, partly because it is the only way to survive against the big companies, but I have seen innovation in large companies too like Google, it all comes down to company culture and how much do they promote innovation.
The first thing which pops in my mind about innovation is iPod, they were not the first player in the market, but they are popular because of the innovation in their business model, simple interface and the online music shop, they added the WOW factor to the MP3 player, they recognized and tapped the customer trend and fashion.
The first step to be innovative is to remove the fear of failure, take risks and embrace failure, don’t spend too much time taking decisions, all the good ideas seems meaningless and impossible initially. Try looking at other industry to get inspiration, there is nothing like bad ideas, there may be ideas which are not feasible but that’s life.
As a BA you are in a perfect environment to be innovative, most of us are responsible to implement an innovative idea but does that mean innovation stops there?, you can use innovation to implement the idea (which include software and process ). Be a bit more social, try and meet BAs from other industry talk to them to find out what they are working on, learn from their success (and their failures).
Try getting in the head of your target audience, try to see what customer sees (or expects) which you have missed, walk a mile with them, feel their pain and frustration, a small change in the way you do things can make a big difference in their life, the moment a customer thinks they are being heard, they will be more open with suggestion and criticism.
These days business are getting global in nature, do not restrict yourself to a particular region, sooner or later you will venture out and you need to think (NOW) about the opportunities you can tap in future. Sometime to be innovative you have to go to the opposite direction from where your industry is going, you'll redefine the rules of the game.
Thank you very much for reading and don’t forget to dream.