Desire to innovate is only the tip of the iceberg, you need to have a plan!
An innovation strategy is crucial for companies to carry out innovation activities efficiently and purposefully. It is the prerequisite for the development of successful innovation management and the definition of an innovation process.
But, before we dive straight into developing an innovation strategy, we want to give you the definition of the term. Innovation strategies can be classed in four types as proactive, active, reactive and passive (Dodgson et al. 2008).
If you want to be innovative, you will need a strategy to map out your entire plan and vision for your company. Before you start implementing any ingenious ideas that you may have in your head, it is best to keep those ideas there and instead focus on the bigger picture.
Determine innovation objectives and the why behind your innovation strategy. What do you want to achieve with innovation? How does it want to interact with customers?
Companies developing an innovation strategy should:
⁃ answer key strategic questions,
⁃ analyse competitive and technological environment
⁃ its external challenges and opportunities
⁃ analyse future trends relevant to their business, its external challenges and opportunities
⁃ watch out for hidden customer needs
⁃ and prepare a list of the competencies they need to develop innovation successfully.
Especially in times of digital change and digital disruption it is important to regularly develop and modify an innovation strategy.
In defining your innovation strategy, there are three things that you need to address:
⁃ Get the executive team on board. The reason for that is you want to engage them in conversation and make sure that they all speak the same language. They need to set priorities and outline the bigger picture, define a future state for the company and the scope for innovation.
⁃ Defining growth ambitions. Making sure that you look at the core and renewable businesses and how you’re going to split resources, what your expectations are, et cetera.
⁃ Last but not least, to be able to execute your innovation strategy in a scalable and integrated manner, you should define how to implement and manage innovation. What are the most important systems that support and help measuring the results of our innovation strategy?
To succeed in developing the best possible innovation strategy for you, you need to identify and map your best possible strategic choices required to win. For your innovation strategy to work, strategic alignment and seamless integration to the ways of working is the key. By clear communication as well as supporting metrics on company and individual level will help you make innovation a continuous practice.
How we can help
These are only, just a few ideas to inspire and give you a starting point. If you want to have us help you, we can provide you with that structured approach to develop an innovation strategy.