The ability to efficiently solve problems is a key attribute for the development of businesses such as technology. But “innovators” are not geniuses with a light bulb that simply goes off in their heads. They’re people made of flesh and blood who, as a team, work to enhance products and processes.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 20th, 2021.- Since 2018, every April 21st, World Creativity and Innovation Day is celebrated all over the world. The UN determined it to promote multidisciplinary creative thinking. These two attributes, key to development, are the pillar of companies that are focused on setting the path of many processes of our day to day lives.
Innovation consists of a change that implies a novelty, either in a product or a process, to improve it. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020, analytical thinking and innovation are at the top of the list of skills that employers believe will grow in the next five years.
Although we usually associate the concept of innovation with technological advance, it’s an attribute that can be applied to any type of industry, to enhance its productivity. The so-called “design thinking,” for example, is increasingly used in various organizations: it’s a methodology that allows or facilitates problem solving, the design and development of products and services, focusing on creativity.
When we think of innovation, many times we think of an idea that suddenly occurs to someone, a light bulb that goes off in their head at a given moment that changes everything. Nonetheless, people who work looking for innovative solutions are involved in daily processes that require effort, teamwork, and a substantial amount of trial and error.
The “work surface,” a company dedicated to innovation
Solutions, whether or not technological, arise from problems. Napse is a leading omnichannel-oriented retail technology solutions company, and innovation is at the core of the company. This is why teams from various areas experience it in their daily lives, not just when developing new solutions or optimizing existing ones. “To innovate is to undertake, to launch into the unknown with the certainty that the result will be better than what we’ve been doing so far,” said Antonio Rivero, the Commercial Director for Napse, adding that “it’s the nature of our business, with our customers at the center of it.”
“The retail world is based on innovation, on how to provide consumers with a tailor-made shopping journey, offer opportunities based on their interests, reduce time and effort at an operational level”, explained Martín Malievac, the Research and Development Director for Napse, adding that “Innovating is trying to find an easier way to make a product or a process, and technology is just a means to achieve it.”
In the past, the software creation process was often thought of as a closed plan, with a beginning and an end representing a final deliverable. Over time, this concept changed drastically, as a result of the experience gained by the sector: there are few cases in which an idea can be defined and executed in one go. Because of this, Napse works with a model of successive approaches and streamlined work methodologies, which allow to partially change course or reconsider an idea at an early stage.
“My day to day, as part of the R&D team, constantly demands innovation, either to solve a problem in the production field, or in the conception of new features for our products,” explained Juan Pablo Almeida, the Product Manager for Napse, who defined innovation as “a light bulb that goes off, but is then powered by a dynamo, i.e., by constant pedaling, to keep it shining brighter.”
The role of the company and its leaders is key to creating an innovating environment. For this reason, the company recognizes employees of the month who carry out initiatives or actions in this way. “One of the six core values of the company is called ‘innovation to the core’ and we pay special attention to it because it allows us to fulfill our purpose, which is to bring people closer to technology through thrilling shopping experiences,” said Agostina Verni, the Human Development Manager for Napse, adding that “we want our employees to have a ‘think outside the box’ mind, which is key to being able to work successfully in a dynamic and changing organization such as Napse.”
And these types of skills are essential not only for professionals in the R&D area, but also for each member of the organization, in their role, to contribute new mechanisms and ways to fulfill company objectives. “I constantly seek to innovate, automate processes to come up with new ideas, and think of different ways of working,” explained Marisol de la Fuente, the Marketing Manager for Napse, who stressed the importance of continuous training and knowledge of trends in order to come up with innovative ideas: “The process is the result of the gaining of knowledge and interdisciplinarity, only when there is learning there is room for innovation.”
For Napse executives and leaders, innovation is not something that occurs from time to time in software development. Company members experience it every day, optimizing their processes and daily training teams that are willing to change course if needed to fulfill objectives. Upon continuous training and constant search for improvement, you achieve an environment that makes it possible to innovate, offering market solutions tailored to new consumer demands.