How Innovative is Your Company in its Approach to Business

Published on 2013-02-05

In order to be a successful company, it is important to recognise the power of innovative thinking and its impact on business growth.

As China continues to evolve, companies operating in the world’s second largest economy must learn to adapt and modify their business practices to stay ahead of the market. In order to be a successful company, it is important to recognise the power of innovative thinking and its impact on business growth.

On Friday the 25th of January, the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai was delighted to invite Professor Hitendra Patel, Managing Director of IXL Center to give us a workshop on the importance of innovation in business.

“Business innovation is the process of taking an idea, acting on it and creating new value.”

Professor Patel began by giving a range of examples of great companies that suffered as they didn’t continue to innovate, stressing that as the world changes, customers change. This creates a constant need to innovate, and by innovating a company becomes much more attractive both to the market, but also to employees, investors and suppliers.

Innovation can come in many different forms, from new ways of production, new products, new ways of delivery to opening up to new markets. All of these can help to create a new, innovative product that can help create new value, keeping companies ahead of competition. A good example is when McDonalds decided they could be more than a lunch and dinner burger company; by opening up a breakfast menu they increased their profits by 30%.

When considering innovation, it is important to look at both sustaining and emerging trends, as these will give a good idea about how the market will evolve in the future. It is also crucial to have a product which serves a basic human need, be it hunger, safety or happiness. If a product follows emerging trends, serves a basic human need and is coupled with a simple and proven business model, then an innovation breakthrough may be on the horizon.

Towards the end of the workshop we began looking at how everyone has different attributes, all of which are important when trying to innovate. At each stage of the innovation process, different people will have different skills, and letting them work with their natural abilities will be effective in achieving results. To innovate, Professor Patel explained a process to follow which creates incredible productivity:


  1. Begin by setting a goal.
  2. Be creative and begin generating ideas.
  3. Organise and connectthe ideas generated.
  4. Refine solutions.
  5. Set an action plan.


Working in this way, companies can work within their strengths, with organised workers setting the goals and outlining the action plans, creative workers focusing on generating ideas, and analytical workers refining solutions. With a comprehensive program in place, companies can successfully innovate, achieving unprecedented growth.

If you would like any further information regarding innovation in business, or a copy of the PowerPoint from the presentation, please don’t hesitate to contact Jasmine Wang at jasmine.wang@britishchambershanghai.org.