What exactly do we mean by “innovation”? Among the most basic ones I hear from customers is that it’s an important aspect of their growth plan. A clear definition of the term itself is even rarer.
In many situations, it boils down to this: the quest for new experiences. But there’s an issue with that mindset: it implies a lot of beginnings and fewer finishes. It sets the stage for your growth to be fragmented and unpredictable, and it is rarely directly related to your targeted business results.
Many CEOs privately admit that innovation is one of those disciplines that cannot be subjected to the same criteria as the rest of the organization. According to the theory, there is an unsaid X-factor to the invention that cannot be monitored or managed, and any effort to do this will be futile.
But what if that’s not the case? What if a company could turn on growth the same way it can turn on effectiveness: methodically?
We’ve discovered that once you crack this code, something interesting begins to happen. The nature of growth changes as well. It transforms from abstract art to a quantitative science. This sort of massive, systematic expansion is frequently associated with digital-first behemoths. However, any organization may achieve progress in this manner. Indeed, it is rapidly becoming the fundamental concept of strategic advantage.
It takes time to get to that point of continuous improvement. As a result, here are four measures leaders may take to plan out their path.
CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE ABOUT INNOVATION
The first step in that path is to focus your innovation efforts on a specific growth target. This must allow for organic, autonomous, and purposeful innovation while also assisting the organization in more effectively prioritizing efforts.
That last point is critical. Rather than identifying where growth may come from, we frequently find organizations struggling to organize their activities in a way that maximizes return. Setting a clear development goal that every employee can buy into has proven to be a great way to solve that challenge in our experience.
Furthermore, a strong growth agenda will help teams distinguish between where they invest for short-term growth opportunities and where they spend for long-term growth strategies. Both are useful, but knowing which is crucial.
LOOK FOR PROBLEMS, NOT MARKETS USING INNOVATION
Many industries’ most powerful sources of growth aren’t found in eking out ever-diminishing share points in the markets in which they already operate. Instead, it is happening as a result of emergent consumer needs that firms can uniquely answer by deploying existing assets in new ways, resulting in the creation of an altogether new market.
Toggle exists because its leadership identified the possibility of developing a new market by recognizing an emerging consumer demand, rather than shoving an old product into a new population with essentially distinct wants. Breaking past the obstacles of confirmation bias requires vision, bravery, and strength.
KNOW YOUR ABILITIES
Identifying a new consumer problem, on the other hand, only gets you halfway there. Your ability to tackle that problem better than any other firm will eventually fuel your growth.
The good news is that your firm has a decent probability of succeeding. Every company has a collection of proprietary gifts. An incomparable set of assets that position it uniquely to address existing and growing demands and to establish new markets. Yours may have a fantastic supply chain or manufacturing capabilities, proprietary technology, data or collaboration ecosystems, a strong brand, specialized expertise, or possibly strong and unrivaled consumer trust.
These rewards are frequently there in front of your eyes. However, because they have been deployed to capture value in existing markets, they’re worth – or how to possibly employ them in a new way – might be disguised. A whole new world of possibilities opens up when you can shift your perspective and see your assets in fresh ways.
SWITCH TO ALWAYS ON
Constant advancement needs a shift in mindset. Your viewpoint as a leader sets the tone for your firm and dictates what is possible. Refocusing your company’s growth goals on innovation is a mental shift that may have a significant impact.
Rather than focusing on your current markets, plan a course towards the blue ocean of unsolved consumer issues. The issues in areas where your assets might provide a distinct new value. It’s impossible to say how much progress you’ll make.