Updated: Jun 20
Stepping Up Your Innovation Game
The disruption we have experienced in recent years is quickly becoming a normal condition of our existence. Change is inevitable, is here to stay, and will always come with new challenges and opportunities. “The only constant in life is Change”, Heraclitus said.
What's before us is a totally new world where the cultural, social and business models we considered the norm are now suddenly outdated.
The future awaiting us is faster, more aware and more competitive than ever.
THE CASE FOR INNOVATION
In order to succeed in a fast-changing environment it is essential to continuously anticipate, evolve and adapt. To achieve that, you need to innovate.
Innovation is not just a buzzword to impress the C-suite or an episodic Team building exercise, Innovation must be a mindset that permeates the entire Organization and drives its purpose.
"Innovate and Disrupt your Business or someone else will."
According to a Harvard Business Review article, "In 1958, corporations listed in the S&P 500 had an average stay of 61 years. By 1980, numbers from research firm Innosight reveal that the average stay had declined sharply to 25 years. In 2011, the average tenure dropped to 18 years. At the present rate of churn, Innosight’s research estimates three-quarters of today’s S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027.”
Innovation is needed to fulfil new and changing customer needs, to keep up with the fast pace of technology and market developments, and to attract and retain top talent.
Innovation is fundamental to growth and survival.
THE INNOVATION PROCESS
Innovation is more often a process than a sudden stroke of genius.
This process requires clarity of vision, focus, commitment.
There are three key stages in the Innovation process: Immersion, Ideation and Execution.
Immersion is the initial stage of exploration to understand the problems, the challenges and assess all potential approaches.
In the Ideation stage the factors that come into play are vision, creativity, unconventional thinking, problem solving, market and customer insights, propensity to risk and propensity to change.
In order to unleash their transformative potential, Organizations need to embed Innovation in their culture and business strategy.
They have to create a "space” (a mindset and a place) where Innovation can thrive, and dedicate cross-functional resources to it.
Without a formalized commitment and the right focus, Innovation ends up succumbing to the day-to-day operational needs.
“Managing Today is fundamentally different than Building Tomorrow."
The Execution stage might sound less "fun", but nevertheless is critical to the success of Innovation.
Ultimately, it makes the difference between those who make it and those who don’t.
Execution requires the ability to plan, develop, test and deliver Innovation to market effectively.
In general, during the Execution phase, Innovation is at greater risk of encountering internal friction and getting stifled before even making it to market.
This scenario should be avoided.
Only when Innovation meets the end customer we understand its full potential. It's at this moment that we can see if and to what extent the initial vision fulfils its purpose.
Diluted vision and poor execution are very often the main reasons for the demise of the greatest ideas.
"In the digital age, the pace of change has gone into hyperspeed, so companies must get these strategic, creative, executional, and organizational factors right to innovate successfully."
When considering opportunities for Innovation there are three areas to explore: Products/Services, the Organization, the Business Model.
Innovation in Products and Services is about bringing new and/or improved “solutions” to new and/or existing needs and problems.
Innovation within the Organization has to do with the “how” a Business operates and requires an assessment of management, processes, resources, channels, partnerships, etc. in order to discover new and/or improved ways of doing things and achieving efficiencies.
Business Model Innovation is about developing new and/or improved approaches to the Value Chain. In recent years, Business Model Innovation has been critical to the disruption and modernization of several Industries such as transport, hospitality, finance and more.
Depending on their specific objectives, strategy, culture, industry, size, maturity stage and leadership, Organizations may embrace different approaches to Innovation.
The main approaches can be included in three categories: Incremental Innovation, Disruptive Innovation and Pioneering Innovation.
Incremental Innovation is fundamentally an improvement of an existing product, service, process or business model, instigated by market, customer or efficiency needs.
Disruptive Innovation brings radically new approaches and solution to new or existing needs and pain points.
Pioneering Innovation is about exploring unchartered territories to realize the unthinkable.
Large Organizations tend to default to the Incremental Innovation of their core business while Start-Ups embrace the Disruptive and Pioneering types. This has to do with the agility, higher propensity to risk and lower barriers to Innovation that typically characterize Start-Ups and SMEs.
INNOVATION FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Today, more than ever, Businesses can easily access Innovation. Regardless of the field in which they operate, their size or the resources at their disposal, there are plenty of opportunities to enable Innovation within an Organization.
Collaboration is essential to Innovation and should be fostered internally, within Teams, and externally through Innovation partnerships with similar or complementary Businesses, Customers, Suppliers, Institutions, Universities etc..
As you start your Innovation journey, there are several approaches and ideas you can explore to build your own strategy and path to success and at HAUS of VENTURES we can help you with that.
In the Start-Ups world there is a constant flow of innovative ideas and relatively easy access to capital to fund them.
In the end, though, only a few of these ideas make it to market and grow into successful Businesses. Along the way, we hear plenty of horror stories detailing catastrophic failures, juicy scandals and epic burnouts.
We help Founders and Investors bring Innovation to market and support them throughout the Innovation process, from immersion to ideation, to launch, reducing risk and time to market. We create the right environment for creativity and disruption and align Innovation to customer needs and business objectives.
We help Start-Ups start and Scale-Ups scale.
We work collaboratively and cover all areas of Venture Development, including:
- Building meaningful and sustainable Innovation
- Product/Market Fit
- MVP Development
- Resource Planning
- Network Development
- Strategic Alliances
- Go-to-Market Strategy
- VCs and Investors Partnerships
Enterprises and Institutions are like big tankers... They are difficult to turn.
Several factors such as resistance to change, adversity to risk, internal politics, conflicting interests, culture, leadership, shareholders’ expectations etc., create substantial barriers to Innovation.
More often than not, it's within large Organizations that Innovation gets stifled or diluted through internal friction.
This doesn’t mean that Big Corporations can't innovate.
On the contrary, they have years of experience, resources and talent in abundance plus a variety of different approaches to enable their Innovation.
They can create internal Innovation Labs, acquire Innovation through M&A, develop their Corporate Venture arm or become an Incubator for promising Start-Ups.
Whatever the approach, an uncompromising commitment to Innovation is essential. Without that Corporations can become their own worst enemy.
Friction with the core business and the status quo inevitably get in the way of Innovation...
We remember all too well how very successful Companies have lost their competitive advantage by missing the opportunity to innovate or pivot at the right time (Blockbuster, Kodak, Nokia, BlackBerry, and more).
We help Corporate Clients explore the most promising opportunities, assess risks and potential and define actionable Innovation Strategies. We help them design Organizations that can "perform while they transform", meaning that they are able to simultaneously run the existing business and develop Innovation, while minimizing internal friction and conflict.
We enable and facilitate Corporate Innovation with a lean and agile approach. We cover areas such as:
- Business Innovation and Transformation
- Innovation Mindset
- Innovation Portfolio. Strategic Bets
- Ideation, exploration, prototyping, development
- Co-creation, Incubation, Acceleration
- M&A and Integration
- Due Diligence
- Corporate Venture Development
Innovation doesn't have to be an expensive or far-fetched undertaking synchronized with quarterly planning sessions and business reviews. It should be embedded into the fabric of an Organization.
When this is not possible because time and resources are in scarce supply, Businesses can benefit from easy and flexible access to Innovation on-demand.
Innovation-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a great solution for those Organizations that want to innovate but do not have an internal Innovation Function. In this case we can become the Clients' Innovation Team.
Innovation-as-a-Service offers instant and flexible access to Innovation whenever is needed, it caters to all Organizations, large or small, and allows to focus on specific Innovation needs.
Some of the areas we cover with Innovation-as-a-Service include:
- Innovation Brainstorming Sessions
- Interdisciplinary Team Building
- Ideas Factory
- Prototypes Lab
- Products/Services/Business Model Validation
- Product/Market Fit
- Organizational Design and Development
YOUR INNOVATION JOURNEY STARTS HERE
It doesn't matter how big your Team is, how big your Company is and even how many resources you have.
What matters is how big your dream is.
Keep creating new things, finding new solutions and looking for new problems to solve.
Innovation should always be nurtured and enabled. The power of new ideas is limitless.
Make Innovation a foundational part of your Business, your mindset and the guiding principle of your path to success.
"Well begun is half done." Aristotle
About HAUS of VENTURES
HAUS of VENTURES is a global, full-service, Strategic Innovation and Venture Development Company that provides services in areas of critical importance such as Innovation and Technology Consulting, Business Strategy, Product/Service/Proposition Design and Development, Digital and Business Transformation, E-commerce, Digital Marketing, Customer Experience, Brand and Marketing Strategy, Organizational Design, Change Management. HAUS of VENTURES supports Organizations at all stages of growth, from Start-Up to Enterprise, and covers all Industries, from Technology to Consumer, from Digital to Luxury, from Entertainment to Life Sciences. Headquartered in London, HAUS of VENTURES operates globally through an extensive and reputable international network. For more information please visit www.hausofventures.com.