Cultivating and investing in innovative ideas are key to Nissan’s success
TECHNOLOGY and business innovation go hand in hand to achieve continuous growth, increased revenue, and higher productivity.
Without innovation, businesses can fall behind and may lose customers and revenue in the long run – especially in an increasingly competitive market.
“There are no bad ideas,” said Nissan Managing Director Kalyana Sivagnanam, who discussed the role of innovative thinking in businesses at a recent summit.
With technology evolution at the forefront of its business model, Nissan believes that it is important to have a structure within an organization to support and endorse innovative ideas.
The brand also believes that celebrating quality innovative ideas and encouraging innovative efforts have contributed to their success and longevity in the automotive industry.
Nissan has instituted the ‘Chairman’s Award’ that employees can win when they submit their ideas to an elected committee — an effort to encourage innovation within the organization itself.
Winners are chosen, recognized, and funded to work on their ideas for up to six months — after which the end product is commercialized.
In other words, Nissan invests in ideas they believe are vital to push the company’s innovation engine forward and to tangible results.
Although there are a very small number of projects that do not work out at the end of the six month period, Nissan believes that it is part of the learning process and also a meaningful training experience for the company’s staff.
Nissan also embraces failures as they provide room for growth and improvement.
Sivagnanam also made the point that the brand manages to promote such confidence because leaders across the organization are clear about the type of innovation that they seek.
So, even if a project fails, technology solutions are always a reliable proponent in driving continuous growth efforts and to make improvements possible.
Additionally, Nissan has set up two innovation labs to foster technology innovation and work collaboration with other organizations looking for funds, materials, training, or incubation opportunities.
For Sivagnanam, innovative thinking and efforts not only give businesses a competitive advantage but also drive sustainability.
As a key player in the automotive industry, innovation is the core value that pushes the brand to continuously offer safer and economical products that improve the means of transportation.
An innovation-first mindset is highly critical in an ever-evolving business landscape where technology solutions, work processes, and culture are variables that influence how a business grows and attains success.
Business leaders that drive innovative thinking understand that the mindset must first be fostered at the management level before it can flow down to the rest of the organization.