Innovation is a threat to yesterday’s success.
Markets don’t always reward new ideas. Focus on customer needs more than customer wants. Markets – people – know what they have experienced, but innovation changes the experience.
Innovation is not a solo flight.
The vision of the lone innovator is dated – the world today is just too complex. Work in interdisciplinary teams and networks. Remember that innovation is often about combination: There will be some chaos, but don’t try to avoid it. Fail fast, start learning, be agile. Innovation – as opposed to invention – is more process than product, and the future of innovation is about collaboration.
Budgeting can be an innovation killer.
Rather than managing costs, focus first on investing to create value. The greatest value of innovation results from a context of profound and prolonged uncertainty. So learn how to react quickly when you discern real sources of value. Innovation – finding new sources of value – needs room to explore.
Experience innovation is infinite.
Innovations in product design, price, and speed to market only go so far, but you can always better understand your customer, their needs and desires, and find ways to meet them that are ever better and differentiating. We continue to see a shift from product to service economy, and exploring this area is a great way to surface new innovation opportunities.
Design processes around your customer.
Organizations need to innovate the customer experience first and then work backwards to deliver that experience. When we make plans, we often get the future wrong because we don’t always understand customer behavior. Do all you can to understand the customer’s context before your next investment.