Innovation Strategy

All strategy answers two simple questions: where to play, and how to win.

Innovation Strategy is no different. But knowing where to innovate and bringing possible futures to life is an uncommon undertaking.

Having developed innovation strategy with firms large and small, we have machined a repeatable, coherent process. Follow this eight step method to focus your innovation efforts and produce a roadmap to the future.

&8steps

bargray-light8-Step Method

taj-squareExplore this example Ampersand’s 8-Step method for Innovation Strategy as illustrated by India’s legendary Taj Hotel Group.

bargray-light

Innovation Ambition

north-starDeclare your purpose and align your aspirations and expectations to match. Show your people the north star.

bargray-light

Innovation Portfolio

portfolio-starry-nightMitigate risk and optimize for success by building a staged and structured portfolio of innovations, across three horizons of the known and unknown.

bargray-lightTo grow in new ways, you have to confront new questions.

  • Where do we stand today? What are our capabilities for innovation? How prepared is our business to pursue unfamiliar territories?
  • What are we trying to achieve? What would success look like?
  • How committed are we to our goals? How fast do we want to grow, and how much risk are we willing to tolerate?
  • Where will new demand emerge? Is it already out there? How do we discover it?
  • How can we align our organization around a few select areas that promise to become more important over time, trusting the talent of the organization to find the solutions?
  • How do we innovate to play to our strengths and intentions, and help our customers view us in a new way?
  • How do we ensure that our innovations propel our corporate goals and business strategy? How do we align innovation goals with our corporate leaders’ ambitions?
  • How do we make our innovations add up to more than just the combined ROIs of our projects? How might we leapfrog our competitors?
  • How can we align our organization around a few select areas that promise to become more important over time, trusting the talent of the organization to find the solutions?
  • How do we ensure that our innovations propel our corporate strategy? How do we align innovation goals with our corporate leaders’ ambitions?
  • Which opportunities promise the richest return? Which opportunities harbor hidden risks?
  • What portfolio of projects will meet the needs of our current businesses and customers, and at the same time prepare us for a bolder, more profitable future?

Cascade your corporate goals to balance business priorities with innovation opportunities.

No doubt your executive team confronts these questions every day. Most established companies regularly construct or update a corporate strategy – setting direction from the top to prioritize investments. Corporate strategies typically drive the current portfolio. They project strength, to push the business forward in scale (sell more of the same) or in assortment (produce new versions using proven competencies), or in breadth (proven products in new markets).  They direct business units who then produce their own plans that should sum up to the corporate goals. Innovation strategy defines the future portfolio – pulling on unmet demand to capture new sources of revenue, often serving new audiences or new needs, in new ways. Strategic innovation completes the missing half of most corporate aspirations, bridging conventional business growth with new growth in untapped fields. Innovation accelerates and often extends the business unit strategies, by challenging the conventional answers to basic strategy questions:

  • What game are we playing and where will we play it?
  • Who is already on the field? How will we win? How soon, at what cost, and with what return on investment?
  • How big will we bet? How ambitious are our growth goals? How big is the revenue hole we need to fill?

This last question triggers innovation – because if we could win just by doing more of what we do already, why innovate?

Innovation strategy can answer these questions, but only if you ask them.

Prior  SERVICES  Next