What We’re Watching: Gaining an Innovation Edge

Innovation is the fuel that keeps a company growing, especially in today’s fast paced marketplace.  Here is a link to a discussion around Apple and whether they are maintaining their edge with regard to innovation.  Here are a few takeaways on how this could apply to your business:

  • Invention vs. Innovation – your company needs to have both to really accelerate your business.  A unique invention comes to life with an innovative go-to-market model.
  • Innovation comes from multiples places: really understanding your customers and their needs, leveraging your company’s assets and organizational knowledge, and looking forward to anticipate future needs – skate where the puck is headed, so to speak.
  • A balanced innovation portfolio – to truly have a focus on innovation your organization needs to consider a variety of ideas with varying time horizons, cost to commercialize and likelihood of success:
    • Small, incremental improvements to existing businesses
    • New market innovations
    • Moon-shot projects

Only with a portfolio that includes a representation of all three will an organization truly develop an innovation eco-system.

  • Deep customer understanding – Successful innovation relies on a deep understanding of the customer and delivering against their “job to be done” – it’s a constant, but always worth emphasizing.