The Innovation Challenge
Corporations of all sizes, older than 15 years are in jeopardy. It is NOT LACK INNOVATION as such, it is lacking the UNDERSTANDING HOW TO INNOVATE. TEST: Tell your teams to be more innovative. The response to the question may be: “Yes, we’d love to do that, but please teach me what I must do to be innovative”. Your team learned to handle machines, compile algorithms, develop strategies and business plans, how to sell and how to market, create a long-term financial forecast, or how to hire talents. They never learned how to innovate or how to create a disruptive business model. Most even set innovation equal to the invention. The real challenge is:
1) We need to understand how one creates ideas in the first place?
2) How these ideas may turn into an ‘innovation’?
3) How do we know that those ideas are actually something the market will buy?
4) When do we invest in such innovation and how much?
5) How do we organize an innovation process from idea creation to market success?
Not lack of innovation but lack of understanding how to innovate
In search of Innovation
Most businesses are seriously challenged and try all kinds of ways: Creating an innovation lab, investing in startups, trying to observe young innovators, hire teams to be creative and innovate – and all kinds of random actions in the pursuit of “finding innovation”. This already went on for decades with no serious success. Young businesses continue to disrupt entire industry segments. Whether it is the car industry, the taxi industry, the hotel industry, the mobile communication industry, the micropayment industry, the mobile payment industry, and on and on and on. Who is next: the insurance industry, the airline industry, the food industry, the waste industry, the ITC industry, the automobile industry, the mechanic’s parts industry, the legal advice industry…Every industry will experience major disruption in the coming years. And this is NOT because some come up with crazy ideas and think differently. 200 to 500 out of 1 million startups make it. So that is not much. But those 200 – 500 disrupt any available industry. And will not wait for anybody.
Learning to Innovate
Each and every corporation has its own innovations paradigm. Most don’t even know. The innovations paradigm is the entire complex from idea development in an R&D center or innovation lab to successful market entry. Today this is all experimentation, trial, and error. And we apply the mechanisms that we know to find out. Yes, we need to think very differently – but not how we try today. Funny enough we need to follow age-old rules:
- We need to find out how ideas are actually created and processed
- Once we understand how our brain works, we can apply strategies to use it.
- We then will need to dive far deeper into our business ecosystem than ever before
- And finally, develop radically different solutions that unfold an ideal way for customers
- Leadership in this entire process can make it a repeatable process so one can continuously innovate
Implementing such an “Innovations Paradigm” into the enterprise is far less difficult as it may look, yet it is not done overnight and requires the buy-in of the C-Level. When anybody says we need to think like a startup, We are all of the company. And the key driver is always the CEO – Startup or Global Enterprise. Carl Benz, Henry Ford, Robert Bosch, Graham Bell, Robert Noyce, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos were all young crazy entrepreneurs when they started. And many of that league are just about to get disrupted by people who think and act differently – but that thinking is no secret anymore and not unique.
You may want to join our webinar series on how to innovate and how to get your team to true innovation.