Maintaining a diverse innovation strategy sounds intimidating to many organizations, and while it’s of utmost importance, it doesn’t have to be scary.
While every company wants to be an innovator in their field, too many believe they don’t have the time, available resources, or required knowledge to pursue it. Those sound like valid excuses, the reality is that it’s just easier to maintain business as usual. Avoiding the risk that comes from investing in innovation is safe…until it isn’t.
The unfortunate reality is that many organizations carry a misunderstanding as to what innovation really is. While resource-rich organizations can focus on launching a hand-full of new products or services in an attempt to innovate, they, as well as smaller organizations, are also fully capable of innovating their operations, business model, or technology through continuous improvement and lean initiatives. These “smaller” projects carry much less risk, and do a great job to help organizations do more with less without a single new product or service.
INTERACTIVE – Is your Company actually ready to Innovate?
Still, thinking bigger shouldn’t be scary, and is a vital part of an effective innovation strategy. Organizations need innovation on all fronts, and the secret to long-term success is finding a balance of small and large changes within the operation. While risk is always a factor when your pursuing innovation, balancing your innovation portfolio with frequent, smaller, and “safer” projects can help to mitigate the risk involved with larger business model or technological changes that are necessary to avoid even bigger losses in market share or operational efficiency.
If you’re considering a larger focus on innovation, it can be scary to put your name behind the pursuit of improvement, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Even with smaller projects, a consistent innovation strategy relies on taking chances, getting feedback on what works, and applying past successes for larger projects to take larger steps forward. Maintaining the “business as usual” attitude may seem safe, but it’s only a matter of time before you’re forced into action, and by that time it may be too late. It’s better to take a chance with innovation strategies like innovation management software and disrupt yourself than have someone else do it for you.