How to create an innovation strategy?

As Polaroid, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, and numerous others have discovered, innovation endeavours usually fail, and successful innovators have a difficult time maintaining their performance. Why is it so difficult to develop and retain an innovative capacity? The causes go far beyond the most usually cited cause: a lack of execution. The lack of an innovation strategy is at the base of the problem with innovation enhancement efforts. A strategy is nothing more than an agreement to follow a set of consistent, mutually reinforcing rules or behaviours in order to achieve a specific competitive goal. Good strategies help an organization’s many groups align, identify objectives and priorities, and start concentrating around them. Companies define their overall company strategy (its scope and positioning) and how specific roles such as marketing, operations, finance, and research and development will support it on a regular basis. However, in my more than two decades of studying and working for businesses in a variety of industries, I’ve discovered that businesses rarely identify strategies to match their innovation efforts with their business strategy.

Why innovation strategy is needed?

Without an innovation strategy, efforts to improve innovation can easily devolve into a jumble of well-publicized best practises, such as dividing R&D into decentralised autonomous teams, spawning internal entrepreneurial ventures, establishing corporate venture capital arms, pursuing external alliances, embracing open innovation and crowdsourcing, working collaboratively with customers, and trying to implement rapid prototyping, to name a few. So there is nothing wrong with any of those methods in and of themselves. The issue is that an organization’s ability to innovate is determined by its innovation system, which is a set of interdependent processes and structures that governs how a company searches for new problems and solutions, synthesises ideas into business concepts and product designs, and chooses which initiatives to fund. Trade-offs are a part of individual best practises. Adopting a specific approach usually necessitates a slew of other adjustments to the organization’s overall innovation framework. Without an innovation strategy, a corporation will be unable to make trade-off judgments and select all of the components of the innovation system.

Creative System for Innovation Strategy

It is not a good idea to copy someone else’s system. There is no single system that works for all

businesses or in all conditions. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with learning from others, but it’s a mistake to assume that what works for Apple (today’s favourite innovation) will work for your company. A defined innovation strategy aids in the development of a system that meets your specific competitive requirements. Finally, even if a clear business plan exists, different segments of an organisation might easily end up pursuing conflicting agendas without an innovation strategy. The most pressing needs of the largest customers are communicated to sales staff on a daily basis. Marketing may perceive possibilities to enhance market share through new distribution channels or leverage the brand through related products.

Diverse points in Innovation Strategy

The heads of business units are concentrated on their key markets and specific P&L concerns. New technologies attract the attention of R&D scientists and engineers. Diverse viewpoints are necessary for successful innovation. The strength of variety is blunted or, worse, self-defeating without an innovation strategy to integrate and align different perspectives around common aims. Corning, a largest producer of speciality components used in electronic displays, telecommunications systems, environmental products, and life sciences equipment, is a wonderful illustration of how a close relationship between company strategy and innovation strategy can drive long-term innovation leadership.

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