Five strategies for increasing innovation velocity
The phrase about daring to take risks in uncertain times is becoming tired. But how does one take a chance on the unknown while keeping both feet firmly on the ground?
In February, we gave a talk on down-to-earth business models at Kampanje's "Customer Experience Day" conference. In the presentation, we discussed important elements for realizing and operationalizing innovation processes. Working smart with innovation doesn't have to be rocket science, after all. The magic is created through dedicated focus, smart use of data, analysis and insight, as well as how you pivot from insight to feasible concepts and testable solutions.
These are my five strategies for increasing innovation velocity.
1. Know your organization
If you want to innovate in uncertain times, you need to be aware of your own organization. What are its strengths? How can you innovate based on existing technology and products? And where is it necessary to innovate on unknown ground?
An innovation can be as good as you want, but if you don't have your organization with you, the road to success will be steeper. Bring along your good team. Change requires not only a change in the portfolio but also a change in mindset and perhaps working methods. Get the top and bottom of the organization involved in the journey of change. It gives you a stable basis for decision-making and prioritization.
2. Get innovation into the corporate strategy
An ambition for innovation should be an active part of the company's strategy. There is a difference between innovating on existing core business compared to exploring new business opportunities and revenue streams. Recognize that innovation to optimize and improve the customer experience has different mechanisms and tools compared to innovating in unknown areas.
Innovation in existing core business requires good knowledge of products and technology. When innovating in unknown territory, one should not be influenced by existing technology and portfolio, precisely to be able to think and test on a broad enough scale.
Osterwalder recently introduced the concept of AKI (Aspirational Key Insight) for this phase. With AKI, Osterwalder claims that we can embrace uncertainty by gathering insights, experimenting extensively, and measuring continuously. The term naturally implies an understanding that there is increased risk and uncertainty when working with unknown phases.
When setting an ambition for innovation in your strategy, it is also essential to be aware of the time horizon. Do you aim for something that generates immediate benefits or do you want something that is viable in the long run?
3. Set ambitious goals and work backwards to the present
So simple, yet so difficult. Knowing what you want can sometimes be obvious. But how do you know if it's right for your organization? And what does it take to reach your ambitious goals?
The goals must be robust enough to withstand adjustment. We live in a time where society is changing at a rapid pace. Both you and your business must be prepared for the strategic goals to withstand adjustments or even to be changed or discarded along the way. The key is a delicate balance between ambitious and robust goals.
I'll allow myself to quote Amy Webb from a seminar earlier this winter; what does it take to create the future you want?
4. Dare to explore the unknown
Research shows that companies that invest time and resources in exploring new opportunities, revenue streams, products, and services are more innovative. McKinsey's report on driving growth in uncertain times provides some hard facts:
- Building new businesses is one of the top five priorities for CEOs in 2022, despite economic volatility.
- Companies that prioritize new development as a top strategic priority grow faster than other companies in the same year.
There are several tools that one can use to explore the unknown. A good place to start is to look at trends affecting your industry and other societal factors that impact your industry and products. Which trends are relevant in your industry? Which technological drivers are particularly important, and how will they impact your business strategy, ambitions, and future growth?
These are critical questions to investigate to increase the pace of innovation.
5. Innovate with a customer-centric focus
Know your existing and potential customers and their ecosystem. What triggers one customer group for one business may not necessarily trigger another customer group for a similar business.
Know what triggers your customers. What are the characteristics of your customers, what is important to them, and what are their digital preferences and habits? And most importantly, are your customers ready for your new product?
It is an advantage to be aware of the differences between the existing and potential customer groups. Are they the same group, or are they actually quite different? Use both qualitative and quantitative insights to explore the unknown.
- Know your organization
- Take action on innovation strategy
- Look back to move forward
- Know your existing and potential customers
- Dare to explore the unknown
Dare to explore the unknown, but avoid it being a shot in the dark. Let us help you find sustainable and viable services that are attractive to your desired customer groups.
Do you have an idea or a product and need assistance implementing it in your organization? We have extensive experience in driving such processes. Together we will find what works best for your business.
Please contact us so that we can explore the unknown together and look at the opportunities that lie ahead for your company.
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