“97% of US Executives are dependent on innovation to achieve their business strategy but 82% do not distinguish how they innovate from how they achieve incremental performance”

Accenture’s 2015 US Innovation Survey Innovation: Clear Vision, Cloudy Execution.

This problem is not unique to the USA and is probably even worse in Europe. The failure is to recognise that all innovation is not born equal, that incremental innovation in core products & services is very different from innovation that leverages existing assets into new markets, or  transformational innovation that may be essential to long-term survival.  Each horizon for innovation requires its own capabilities and active management as a part of a single innovation portfolio designed to deliver on an explicit innovation strategy, itself something that is too often lacking.

There is a  need to think more strategically about innovation and the critical role it plays in delivering on growth, value and efficiency across in the short and longer terms. In a period of growing disruption and uncertainty, existing innovation models and processes cannot simply be ‘stretched’ to embrace new, more radical opportunities, whatever the source of those opportunities – digital, social or technological. Each wave of external change opens up new and challenging opportunities to create value for existing and new customers in potentially very different ways, ways that the existing approaches to innovation cannot address.  It’s time to accept the need for fundamental change and take the business of innovation seriously; it is now an essential discipline in its own right and without a strategic and cohesive approach to innovation there is an increasing business risk.

Taking innovation seriously means recognising that there are 3 innovation activities that need to be developed and integrated:

Closing the Innovation Gap graphic

  1. Develop a Minimum Viable Innovation Strategy (MVIS) –  every company or business unit, regardless of industry or size, needs a Minimum Viable Innovation Strategy which:

    • identifies the risks & opportunities of Digital and other major Disruptive trends,

    • defines where innovation is essential to achieving the strategy of the business,

    • address all innovation opportunities and not simply product or service,

    • cover short and longer-term horizons,

    • defines how innovation will be managed, measured & directed.

  2. Transform Innovation Capabilities – define the capabilities, organisation and processes that need to be developed or acquired, internally and externally, to achieve the Innovation Strategy.

  3. Improve Innovation Management – develop the innovation management function to provide the direction, support & transparency essential  to embedding innovation within the organisation and success.

Sound simple? It is not! Even the best of organisations struggle. We partner with you to bring best practice, creativity, insight and tools to help understand and close your Innovation Gap.