Crossing the Innovation Chasm: crafting a Minimum Viable Innovation Strategy (MVIS)

Crossing the Innovation Chasm

Many organisations innovate at some level but most struggle to achieve their desired results, are underwhelmed. There is too often a chasm between sporadic and isolated innovation and the sustained innovation required to remain competitive, transform or thrive. Crossing this Innovation Chasm requires a focused and transformative effort, an Innovation Strategy to bridge reality and need and ensure innovation becomes business-as-usual, rather than something infrequent and unusual.

Inspired by the concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as popularised by Steve Blank we have come-up with Minimum Viable Innovation Strategy (MVIS) to define not what features your products include to be viable in the eyes of the customer, but what your Innovation Strategy needs to include to be effective in a rapidly changing market, a bridge to cross your Innovation Chasm.

The goal is to ensure your Innovation Strategy is fit for purpose – provides the missing roadmap you need to engage staff, direct and drive investments and achieve the outcomes you need. It won’t be perfect but it will be a solid backbone and let you sleep a little sounder each night knowing you have a way forward, that your culture is evolving to become more innovative, you are no longer placing too many poorly-informed bets or relying on a small band of committed individuals to see you through.

Minimum Viable Innovation Strategy (MVIS)

We have condensed our experience to come-up with 9 recurring and measurable criteria we find in successful innovation strategies and they are:

  1. Explicit– not buried, sub-summed or assumed in a Business strategy but rather a structured and prioritised list of resourced and directed projects

  2. Informed – not simply the wishes of influential stakeholders or the results of functional turf-wars but informed by objective data & insights from the real world and customers

  3. Facilitated – to combat self-serving unconscious bias, group-think & false consensus

  4. Inclusive – Ecosystem wide including staff, supplier, customer & partner insights, needs & wants

  5. Prioritised – generates a portfolio of prioritised projects across several time horizons, each well defined, owned and cascaded down the organisation

  6. Digital – fully exploits Digital technologies as a platform to drive efficiency, transform & innovate

  7. Extensive – extends beyond R&D, Product or Service innovation and includes Business Model and other innovation possibilities

  8. Differentiated – is unique from competitors in at least one major way

  9. Stress-tested – assesses risk of Disruption & how to exploit & defend against disruptive challenges from both competitors and new entrants

We will soon be launching a free online MVIS diagnostic so watch this space or sign-up for our free newsletter below to be notified as soon as it’s available.

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