“Today’s success is no guarantee of tomorrow’s success.”
The world has changed and the challenge is steep. Money is scarce, markets became hypercompetitive with shrinking windows of competitive advantage, fuzzy boundaries and ever more complex relationships.
In such a highly competitive market, organizations must operate with two goals in mind.
Primarily, they must deliver revenue producing products and services to their customers and continue to improve those products and services over time to keep in line with customers’ needs and expectations. Secondarily, they must seek out new products and services to meet needs that customers are yet not yet aware of, to continue to grow, and to maintain and extend competitive advantage.
Innovation is central to the accomplishment of both goals. Ultimately, companies seek to balance operational excellence with new business propositions that are critical to organizational success, both in the present and in the future.
In essence, to achieve optimal success, an organization must ‘exploit’ and ‘explore’ at the same time with organizational exploitation efforts capturing value to enable its exploration efforts to create value to be captured in the future. The goal is to achieve an organization that is able to prepare for tomorrow and identify innovative opportunities that may hold the key to the future, while executing at present and optimizing the tasks necessary to sustain the organization on a day-to-day basis.
When organizations try to initiate exploration efforts the common limiting factors that we see as we work with clients is the inability to set the referential as the market and not the company. The end effect is to produce simplistic innovation that cannot deliver sustainable and visible value on the global market. And worse, the few good outputs are all too easily copied, adopted and improved upon by voracious competitors. The aim of corporations should be to create an innovation growth model that gives them a sizeable and lasting competitive advantage over the others in their industry. That advantage is only ever created through radical or disruptive innovation that embraces more than a single dimension of innovation – i.e. more than just a new product development, or a new marketing technique. To achieve this, and to maximize the impact of innovation outcomes, work should be “expanded” along several different innovation dimensions to create something that is harder for the competition to copy.