Success in innovation is earned

You want to re-invigorate your product portfolio.
Or you see a new opportunity in the market that you think can be your’s.
Strategy and innovation go hand in hand.

Your success in innovation depends on
+ spotting the right opportunities
+ utilizing your people’s creativity
+ managing the risks associated with novelty
+ turning novelty into commercial success.

Start with a subtle but crucial distinction:

What if you replaced the mantra to “fail” fast with “fast learning”?

It makes all the difference.
And it is the result of using systematic and people-oriented approaches.

In innovation, you can’t afford shooting from the hip.
Thankfully, “systematic innovation” is no oxymoron. It is about
+ using reliable methods and
+ bringing to fruition the full bandwidth of human creativity.

The interplay of people and systematic methods lies at the heart of success.
Innovation doesn’t only come from “outside the box”.
Also inside you find opportunities worth pursuing.
It may be novelty that your competition has not yet spotted.

The roadmap for the creation of novelty is well-established.
What matters all along is empathy for future users and their environment.

It is well-known how to create novelty: Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test.
And yet, this “approach-agnostic” roadmap merely sets the framework.

Use this or a similar roadmap to stay on track.
Yet, what makes all the difference is the right blend of methodologies:
+ Biomimicry
+ Design Thinking
+ Axiomatic Design
+ Design Ethnography
+ Customer Journey Design
+ Business Model Innovation
+ Job to be Done and Outcome Expectation
and others.

To solve a TRIZ problem, hire a TRIZ expert.
When the customer journey is broken, you find a specialist.
If you don’t know the nature of your challenge, you need a generalist.

The life-cycle of innovation

Opportunities remain unaddressed,
or the creation of novelty fails,
when it is not managed as a phase
in the life-cycle of innovation.

The life-cycle of innovation

These are different activities with distinct deliverables:
+ Identify Opportunities
+ Create Novelty
+ Commercialize success.
Different methodologies are required.
And different teams will work together,
to address different questions.

Identify Opportunities

Who are the future users? What are their needs?
What are the relevant trends?
How will technologies evolve?
How will your current offerings evolve?

Create Novelty

How can the opportunity be scoped and defined?
What solution concepts are available?
How can core assumptions be tested fast and cheaply?
What can be learnt from “minimum viable products”?

Commercialize success

How suited is your “Lean PD” process or your “Development Handbook”?
How are the different functions playing to win together?
What “Design for X” methodologies most applicable?
How is the backlog managed?

There is a lot of opportunity
in the way innovation is practiced in most organizations.