What Is an Innovation Strategy?
Every company needs to innovate if they want to remain relevant in a quickly changing landscape. While many companies claim to have innovation at their core, their results show that this is not always the case. Despite the massive amounts of resources allocated to innovation, failure is the norm for many of them. For such companies, they need to focus on innovation strategy. Execution of innovation isn’t enough if there is no strategy towards a company’s selected long-term goals.
A good strategy makes every department or unit in the company committed to a clearly defined set of policies. This will include desired behaviors that ultimately lead to the realization of a specified business goal. Our experienced Sacramento Tilt-Up Construction professionals explain that your innovation strategy should address the following questions:
How Will We Create Value for Existing and Potential Customers?
An innovative product or solution can provide value in many ways. These include increased durability, compactness, lower cost, ease of use, better reliability, and so many other ways. For example, Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing, a residential ac company in Placerville, is constantly staying ahead of the curve by providing customers with better devices and services. Your innovation strategy will be lacking if it doesn’t specify your plan to offer value to potential customers. For example, different teams may try to find ways of offering value in different ways, and this lack of coherence will ultimately result in the failure of the innovation strategy.
How Will We Corner a Segment of the Value Created?
The reality of the world today is that not many companies or people are willing to invest in coming up with novel innovations, so they just pounce on any new innovation with their imitations.
Trying to keep such pirates at bay with patents and intellectual property rights is useless. You are better off deciding how you plan to capture a segment of the market that is attracted to your innovation. For example, Apple secured a corner of the market it created by bringing the iPad. This is called a proprietary operating system. That system ensures that someone who owns an iPad will more easily buy an iPhone since they use the same platform.
What Type of Innovation Strategy Should We Focus On?
Innovation can take many forms. A company may be kidding themselves if they think that they will pursue all types of innovation with the same degree of commitment. For example, some companies may be built on business model innovation. Uber and Netflix are a good example of such companies. Other companies may focus on routine innovation. This is a version in which you make improvements to an existing product. Microsoft has excelled at this with its different Windows OS versions. Disruptive innovation is yet another form of innovation, where companies seek to upset the status quo. For example, Google came up with the free Android OS as a disruption to the operating systems of Apple and Windows that one has to pay for.
In short, the innovation strategy of your company needs to outline how much attention will be given to the different kinds of innovation so that all efforts gel across the company.
The Power of Prevailing Winds in Innovation Strategy
Implementing an innovation strategy in a company is no walk in the park. This is because the operational needs of the company will keep pulling personnel and other resources towards fixing immediate needs. For example, your company may be interested in pursuing innovation, but the finance department may push the R&D department to come up with less costly components. They could want this to remain profitable, while the marketing team demands better packaging to reach new customers with existing products.
Those pressures are illustrations of how prevailing winds can throw your plans of innovation off track. Without clear leadership to stay on course, the innovation strategy can just remain on paper.
The Role of Management
Top management has many roles to play if the innovation strategy consists of two things: to see the light of day and bear the desired fruit in the long term.
First, top management is responsible for formulating the innovation strategy of the company. Commercial Renovation Contractors explain that this is important because only they can set the priorities of the company. This innovation strategy should then be articulated to all in the company so there is clarity on what matters most.
Secondly, top management is responsible for ensuring that the way resources are allocated supports the innovation strategy. What happens on the ground in terms of resource allocation determines what the strategy of your company is.
Third and most importantly, top management has the duty to keep refining the strategy. This is to ensure that it remains in tune with the changing times. For example, when a truly disruptive innovation is brought to market, it may be wiser to switch to routine innovation. This occurs to get as much value from that one innovation as is possible. Modest resources can then be used to search for the next big innovation.
As you can see, coming up with and eventually implementing an innovation strategy isn’t something you can do overnight. A lot of careful thought has to go into the process. However, the results are worth every bead of sweat! The construction industry did it with tilt-up construction and other innovations. You too can position yourself to be innovative.
For any innovative construction needs, please contact us at Headwater Construction Inc. We’d love to assist you!