From vision to reality: a roadmap for innovation

  • Business Model Innovation

You know it, we know it: innovation is a must for businesses that want to remain competitive within their industry. If you’re not uncovering new areas of value that meet your customers where they are, you risk getting left behind.

On the surface, coming up with innovation opportunities for a business can look like an easy task. In fact, there’s often no shortage of ideas floating about the various parts of an organisation, waiting to be brought to life. However, for your innovation initiatives to be successful, they need to be intentional – and that means connecting the dots between each individual project and your strategic vision.

The 5 steps from strategy to execution

When it comes to innovation, we find that many organisations will encourage their teams to uncover new areas of opportunity without providing a framework that enables intentional and strategic ideation—and that can set them up for failure. But, what’s the alternative?

Here are five steps that have helped organisations manage innovation within a tangible structure:

Step 1: Define the role you want your business to play within your industry within the next few years and communicate that vision to the rest of your organisation. This should account for any changes taking place in the space that you should adapt to and meet head on.

Step 2: Work with your teams to determine the strategic pillars that hold up that vision. These should reflect three to four strategic areas that present value opportunities for your business. As you define these pillars, think about the type of value you might uncover, the types of customers that are represented, and the contributions your business can make in each area.

Step 3: Build an innovation portfolio that reflects these pillars. Encourage your rebels and ideators to come up with value-generating ideas within the boundaries of the three or four strategic themes. This way, ideation can happen within a framework that aligns to the overall strategic vision for the organisation.

Remember: it’s important to look beyond the existing business model at this point. For many organisations and the individuals within them, the instinct is to explore how they can refine and optimise their existing processes instead of looking beyond their office walls. It’s just as important to look at what you can do versus what you’re already doing. If your vision is forward-looking, then make sure your ideation is as well.

Step 4: Choose the ideas you can – and want to – move forward with. In this way you and your team can review and analyse the pool of ideas and evaluate them in terms of impact and the resources required. Ideas that are low-impact and high-cost can be easily deprioritised; and you should have a remaining mix of high-impact/high-cost projects and low-hanging fruit that are aligned with your vision. Then it’s time to test and validate your choices.

Step 5: Once you have selected your ideas, make sure you develop a portfolio of varying business models. With these you can assess the health of current models, begin to experiment in spaces that may be disruptive, and make more sound investment decisions. It’s natural to execute multiple business models simultaneously. Using a maturity curve can help to make the right decisions about where and when to invest resources as part of continuous innovation.

Curious to see what this approach could look like at your organisation? Get in touch and let’s chat about how we can help you execute on your vision.

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