Most people agree that perseverance and discipline are very important qualities for any entrepreneur or business leader. You need plenty of both to run and grow a business successfully. At the same time, most of us associate innovation with ideation and creativity, which is actually odd. Innovation essentially breaks down into two key activities: Invention and Scaling. It is absolutely no use scaling up a bad innovation, but not scaling up a big idea can also fail to deliver value. Invention is about foresight, ideas and creation. Scaling is about quality, speed and predictability; actually it’s about operational excellence in development & research. Successful innovators therefore treat innovation & product development as a systematic capability that can be repeated time and again. I do realize that this sounds a bit counter intuitive, but if you want sustained innovation success, you’d better start managing the development of your future business with the same rigor and discipline as you manage your current business.
There is no lack of great innovative ideas. In fact, most companies have far more ideas than they can ever possibly use. Accenture believes that what sets truly successful companies – the high performers – apart is that they take a systematic approach to innovation. This is what enables them to pick the best ideas, the ones that will work and generate profitable growth, win market share, or even create new high-growth markets.
But how do they do it, again and again? Especially given that the odds are against them, with a mere one in every 1,000 innovative ideas actually proving successful. The key to successful innovation is coming up with the right innovations for the right markets. The best ideas rarely appear out of thin air. The only way to come up with the best innovative ideas – consistently and repeatedly – is to make innovation an essential part of how you do business, of your strategy.
Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts in which I’ll be looking at how a company’s approach to innovation can be the difference between success and failure. Or the difference between sustainable growth and declining sales. So what is innovation and why does it matter? And how do businesses that truly understand its importance achieve success? Not just once, but again and again. Accenture research has shown that innovation is about doing the right thing and doing the things right. In other words, what you do is important, but how you do it is even more important. Read more…