Currently viewing the tag: "Innovation and strategy"

Strategy to have places in the Sun

When we were boys, were creative, small geniuses who easily gave surprising answers that filled the places with amazement. At that time we didn’t have enough knowledge to transform those ideas into something with value, and in this way we can transform us into “startup kids”.

Many of these people have grown and were transformed into successful entrepreneurs, others are working with large projects as top managers and there are still some that failed but are now learning to handle some business traps.

Today there is much talk in innovation, we do timid forays with so-called success models and with imported best practices and often we face the first disappointments or adversities reorganizing ourselves, inventing talents and hiring saviors.

We do all this but we forget that people are a very important part in the functioning and in the success of organizations.

“People aren’t born with the ability to innovate. It’s a structured management practice that’s taught and learned” – Geoff Tuff

Often organizations or their officials dream of a space of processing and gathering luggage and people for the great crossing without thinking on strategy (whatever that means), that is, without answering a few questions as suggested by Roger Martin:

  1.  What is your winning aspiration?
  1. Where will you play?
  1. How will you win?
  1. What capabilities must be in place?
  1. What management systems are required?

The answers to these questions are the fundamental choices every leader must make to craft a successful strategy. Make no mistake about it, strategy is choice; it is a set of choices about what you will do, and what you will not do so, so as to create advantage over the competition.”

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I think that companies, when outcrop innovation as a way to create competitiveness and sustainability, should follow the words of Socrates “know yourself”, and then departed for the expeditions to the core of the Organization, to middle ground or transformational initiatives as Michael Zacka refers in an article on Huff Post.

To become a sustainable enterprise (innovation allows us to reach these heights) an organization must seek to earn a place in the Sun using the difference as a territorial marker.

For example P&G in its statement of purpose, says: “We will provide products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders, and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.”

Organizations need to avoid launching impulsively to paths for wich they are not prepared. For an organization to “know itself” it is necessary having awareness of the value of their resources, their talents, their position in the territory in which it is inserted and its potential to play the game.

An organization that wants to launch itself into the world of innovation should think beyond the immediate things, products or services, and search for differentiation in solving problems through the satisfaction of needs, the effectiveness and the feelings of well-being.

An organization should consider innovation as a whole, resorting to collaboration and sharing in consistently and comprehensively way.

An organization should seek to create the largest possible number of alternative solutions to the problems identified and select the most relevant proposals to a given time being, to the limited context and with the availability of existing resources or with feasibility of the investment.

An organization must be able to interpret the needs, desires and wishes of its clients and potential clients in order to anticipate their requests, avoid their complaints and above all in order to fill the place with better “sun exposure “.

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Think big, start small?

I think innovation is capable of producing significant benefits that help to leverage a business.

Innovation can enable new opportunities in booming markets, increase margins through new ways of doing business and improve operational efficiency through a more efficient and effective use of existing resources.

Each organization is a collection of unique features and capabilities that provide the foundation of its strategy and the main source of their returns.

But innovation is not just to create new products and services. It is also about the development of creative processes and new ways of thinking.

Innovation is thinking about people, about things and about the relations between them, and to solve problems in new ways. Is to build a better world!

There is a good challenge, which I recommend for anyone thinking about innovation and on the best way of addressing in organizations, proposed by Paul Hobcraft and Jeffrey Philips (see here) that got me thinking about the use of the resources of the organizations, among other things, when they want to embrace innovation.

The effective use of potential resources in innovation is not only by the inventory of available resources but also for the assessment of these resources.

The development of new features and greater productivity of technology can be the answer that organizations need to obtain and thus a proper assessment of their physical and human resources can change the value of the existing potential within the organization.

This means that it can be important not just to say what their availabilities are but also assess the potential of them.

The evaluation of internal resources allows a balanced demand for external resources without waste of financial resources and to recognize the medium-term may be important in developing an innovation strategy.

“Technology or expertise that goes beyond what the market is willing to pay for is no longer a competitive advantage.” Christensen

What resources (people, technological resources, time and information) are available to support innovation efforts?

It is curious to note that both excess and shortage of resources available can inhibit innovation. This is because in organizations where there are resources in abundance exists a conservative culture where creativity is taboo and in companies with limited resources cost compression inhibits innovative perspectives.

However, assessing, not just stating their availability enables organizations with scarce financial resources to increase their chances of developing innovative products and services.

Evaluation of resources in an organization may allow, feeding always the sort of approach to develop in innovation, continuously redrawing and their adaptation to the demands of the markets.

In environments characterized by life cycles, technology cycles or economic cycles the “innovation capacity” that is, resource capacity to implement innovations in processes, technologies or components quickly and efficiently, but without great expense, depends on the knowledge gained in the evaluation of resources.

“Two types of indexes are necessary for the evaluation of innovation capacity. The first type determines which components support or inhibit the adaptations. The second type assesses the ability of innovation of the whole system. ” World Academy of Science,

This text is part of a wider exercise and has privileged the physical resources. In a forthcoming approach it will be the human resources and the assessment of their potential for the development of innovation in organizations.

I appreciate comments and suggestions for development. Thank you!