What is Strategic Innovation?
Our Strategic Innovation work ranges from an in-depth analysis or ‘health check’ of current innovation strategy, a 360 degree innovation assessment of a client’s current innovation approach, to opportunity mapping and discovery, exploring current and future innovation opportunities to equip our clients with the most appropriate opportunity domains, to the creation of a full holistic innovation strategy to support growth.
Why should companies innovate?
We are in a world that is constantly moving forward. Companies need to be fast to respond to these changes to ensure they stay relevant and deliver the best value and experiences to their customers. Innovation addresses immediate opportunities and also future-proofs businesses.
An effective innovation strategy focuses on utilising innovation to drive new products and services to create new revenue stream, utilising innovation to create efficiencies and save money within their manufacturing/ supplying processes, bringing in the latest innovations to continue to ensure relevance and stay ahead of the competition, and drives a culture of innovation that attracts and retains the best talent. Without innovation, companies will fail their shareholders and their customers.
How important is it that businesses really understand innovation?
For several years, innovation has always been stated as the highest priority for companies. However, not every company has been addressing this opportunity. There have been individuals in companies who have pushed back on changing the status quo and have fought against “innovation disruption”.
However the pandemic has shown that innovation is not the disruptor – it is the enabler. And when true disruption took place, innovation gave us the new technologies, processes and business models which enabled us to continue with our lives and our work during the pandemic, plus develop the vaccines and other protections to enable us to emerge from the pandemic.
This paradigm shift is seeing companies adopt new ways of working and new innovations faster than ever before. And through the right rigour and process, these new technologies and solutions will deliver value for them, their industries, and their customers.
How does L Marks help companies to implement innovation strategies?
After working with a client to understand what their innovation output is and how it links to their core business, as well as exploring those areas where there are opportunities to drive further growth, L Marks works with our client to implement strategic innovation activity or programmes that can help them identify, develop and deploy innovation within their organisation.
Whether through harnessing Open Innovation (connecting corporates with entrepreneurs and innovative startups / scale-ups) or building New Ventures (Designing and developing nascent business ideas into market-validated and revenue-generating products), our process delivers measurable results which ensures the power of innovation is driving the business forward and creates repeatable success.
Be the Disruptor, not the Disrupted
Strategic Innovation capabilities help our clients move beyond incremental or sustaining innovation to become effective at what is often called radical, disruptive, transformational or Horizon 2 and 3 innovation. These are the types of innovations that drive future growth, but which are often the most difficult for enterprises to be good at.
L Marks works side-by-side with our clients to effectively execute strategic innovation initiatives that get results. We also help our clients develop the strategy, the systems and the processes methods and tools to be a world leader in Strategic Innovation.
Enterprises need strategic innovation
Companies that master the essentials of innovation achieve 2.4 times the economic profit over those that don’t. But almost all this increased economic profit comes from strategic innovation – not sustaining innovation. It is through their strategic innovations that companies achieve their desired future growth.
This is because we live in a world where volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) are accelerating. This is both a threat and an opportunity. It’s a threat if companies are not prepared and are vulnerable to disruption. It is an opportunity because it presents growth possibilities others don’t see.
Companies need to be prepared for this future to ensure they stay relevant. Bold strategic innovations are required to seize opportunities and fend off disruptive threats. But these boundary-pushing opportunities are hard for large companies to pursue – unless they have the right innovation strategy, system, tools and mindset.
Requirements of Strategic Innovation
Having the right innovation strategy, system, tools and mindset is not a matter of luck. Decades have been spent studying what is required. Numerous processes, methods and tool have been experimented, battle tested and proven. A successful strategic innovation capability deliver on many requirements:
- Insight into plausible futures 5 to 20 years out
- New internal capabilities
- Extensive collaboration with external entities
- Key insights that go beyond ‘voice of the customer’
- A commitment to iterative testing and learning
- New methods and metrics for decision-making under uncertainty
- Explicit exploration of business model innovation
- Cultural contrast with operating units
The Strategic Innovation Playbook
An effective strategic innovation system creates the environment that drives new products services, and business models that creates new revenue streams, as well as new mindsets, operational systems and behaviours throughout the enterprise. This, in turn, will create a culture of innovation that attracts and retains the best talent. Without innovation, companies today will not be able to satisfy all their stakeholders – employees, customers, partners, or shareholders.
Strategic Innovation has four distinct program areas:
Be a future-forward organization. Develop the strategy and foresight that will guide innovation initiatives. Discover insights that inform innovation initiatives and strategy.
Build your innovation system. Create and enhance your innovation framework with state-of-the-art organizational, procedural, and governance structures.
Explore and identify new strategic opportunity concepts that feed new concepts into the innovation pipeline and have a real impacton the company's future.
Move opportunities from concept to reality using the tools of experimentation, collaboration, incubation and scale.