Innovation Strategy With Focus & Refinement
You Must Experiment. You Must Fail.
That may suck to hear, but it’s true. Innovation strategy requires a healthy appetite for risk. Any time you are taking a risk in business your likelihood for failure increases. That’s the name of the game. Too many times, so called “disruptive” technology companies are unwilling to actually try anything new.
If you’re takin a giant leap forward technologically speaking, you must be taking some kind of risk. Either the market isn’t ready for what you have, or it’s possible nobody will want what you’re talking about. Or, maybe your vision is actually not achievable. Perhaps your dream won’t come to fruition within your lifetime.
A strategy for innovation must include visionary practice and critical thinking. At one time you must be able to look beyond reason and see that which nobody else has seen yet. By the same token, you have to be realistic and pragmatic enough to get all the people who need to help you to give of their time and energy.
If nobody is looking ahead, nobody will get to the future. Eventually your stagnant old ways will have progress come to a grinding halt, and the worst case scenario is you become completely obsolete during your lifetime and the business ceases to exist. Doomsday? Maybe. It’s happening to more companies every day.
Practice Doubting Yourself More Often
I know, it’s counter intuitive. People work so hard to gain confidence, not instill self doubt! But here’s the point. Most of the time these days people are spending considerable time proving out what they already know. Or they are challenging small assumptions which hold nominal consequences on results.
If your entire organization is convinced of an idea’s strength before it has been put through any kind of wringer, you are playing with fire. There is an epidemic of insolation from the outside world going on. We have bubbles of information we live in, which lead to results that only can occur inside a vacuum.
A/B Test Repeat…But Don’t Forget To Think
If you let computers do all the thinking for you, you’ll never understand why things work or fail. That’s important to understand, too. The more reliance our lives have on things we don’t understand, the faster we can cascade into madness.
Your results will be incompatible with your targets, and ultimately it becomes impossible to focus because you don’t even know what you’re looking at any more. IF YOU DON’T STOP TO THINK ONCE IN A WHILE. Doubt. Question. I mean wonder about the world for the first time since you were a kid.
Creating an innovation strategy requires dilligence, experimentation, a high risk tolerance, and a willingness to look stupid sometimes. You’ll try things that do not work and you have to shake it off like a quarterback who throws an interception. You can’t kick yourself in the pants forever.
Take A Shot At Least
If you’re looking for where to go with your marketing, or your business needs a new strategy, take a shot! An innovation strategy is something that needs to be refined on a daily basis because of how fast things are moving right now. If you sleep on the market for a second you will miss something.
So keep taking shots. Your focus should emerge out of taking ideas to market and getting them shot down until something becomes impenetrable. Those are the things that you should then focus on refining, until your focus becomes too narrow. Then it’s time to open back up again. It’s a cycle. A process.
Don’t Let Your Innovation Strategy Be Lame
Don’t get hung up on immediate results, and prepare for the long haul. If you want to be truly innovative, your innovation strategy has to include training and practice. This is not a sprint. It’s not even a marathon. It’s a generations-long initiative to change the world, if you’re truly serious about an innovation strategy that will take your industry and company to the next level.