Last week we talked about the goals of innovation and the different types of projects that we carry out at TANDEM and that you can also carry out in your own company. This week the turn has come to company strategy, another highly important pillar to keep in mind in order to become innovative.
There are many blogs out there claiming that innovation is a must, that innovation is paramount to growth and that innovation is ever so easy…
Some of them even offer quite good suggestions to get started. Very few however, will remind you that before innovation comes company strategy, so, start off by taking a good hard look at your company, what is your overall goal, what is it that you would like to achieve and for whom or with whom would you like to achieve it? Secondly, consider whether you have an innovative DNA in your company, if you do well great, if you don’t well then you might want to consider whether to outsource or foment innovative thinking within your company – both are equally plausible, the important part is that you consider this step well and make sure that you communicate your strategy within the company.
After considering this first step, and having made a decision, keep revising it from time to time, has anything changed (market, users, employees etc.) or do we need a change from within?
Then comes the tricky part, there are three types of innovation:
- Radical – Something new to the market, think of the TV
- Disruptive – An improvement to an already existing product, creating a great impact, think of adding colour to the TV
- Incremental – a minor improvement to an already existing product providing an added value for either user and/or manufacturer, think of larger screens or higher resolution
As you already know by now, you have to align these types to your company strategy.
Radical innovation offers you high benefit and differentiation potential but comes with an incremented cost, so does your company have what it takes to invest time and money to achieve this?
Disruptive innovation can work wonders as it did for Dell in the beginning, changing the way we wanted to buy our laptops, but the trap here is that you have to keep innovating or suffer the consequences of being outdated as it happened to Dell.
At Tandem, we believe in Incremental innovation, as we think that innovation is a life-long methodic process that should be repeated over and over again, always building on top of the knowledge previously created. We believe that from continuously thinking about incremental innovation, creating benefit for your clients either through reduced cost or improved features, you will eventually have the tools to come up with disruptive or even radical innovation.