You might call it scenarios planning, market mapping or simply cutting the risk of innovation. Either way, how you anticipate future market development, how you fit into it and how you cut the risk of innovation, is what sets you apart. It isn’t always a comfortable ride.

This is what Larry Page says: “We’ve long believed that, over time, companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.

Risk is an integral part of innovation, and knowing what you can do to reduce it is undoubtedly helpful. What doesn’t work is to trust to luck. It’ll all be OK in the end, it’ll come out in the wash, tomorrow’s another day… Here’s another one: hope is not a strategy.

Lots of companies achieve success by seeing an opportunity, assessing the risk, deciding to invest time and effort, and going for it. Some of those that succeed greatly never take another risk. It may seem counter-intuitive to invest hard-earned profit into another speculative project, but history is littered with companies sliding into oblivion because they couldn’t alter course to a new strategic target when things didn’t go to plan. Never forget, just because you assume your market will respond in the right way, doesn’t mean it will.

Innovation demands that somebody take the initial step towards a vision and have the courage and energy to commit. You don’t have to do it blindly, though. There are ways of working smarter to increase your probability of success.

Find out how by getting in touch helpme@room44.co.uk

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