Every day, there’s a new disruptive banking story, a new tech start-up raising millions to change something, someday and the just as regular reporting of start-ups and established firms going under.
On the flip side, and at the same time, Uber loses a founder, WeWork takes a tumble and other unicorns report a year of negative returns and lose their shine. Sometimes, some things are too good to be true.
But you’re alright, because everybody will always need your paper, drugs, water, chocolate, steel work, cosmetics, legal services, financial advice…or will they?
With a properly critical look at your future, at your consumer behaviours and your market, it’s possible to see what’s coming down the line to compete with you. And there will be something on your horizon that will cause some of your older revenue streams to dry up.
Working with teams to create roadmaps to a profitable future, we can find that everything looks great until it’s met with a little less than enthusiasm by the CSuite.
We always make it clear that the output we create together isn’t a plan for someday: the output we generate by working with you is a plan you can use now.
You will define what your business is going to be. You’ll plot your path of baby steps so everyone knows what they must do from the minute they hear the plan.
Forecasts are guesses
As a process, this is an easy one to understand. Pick a point in the future, use radical insight to inform what’s needed for that strategic end point to be viable and plot the product developments that will get you there. As far as ROI is concerned, you’ll have a general impression of size and shape.
However strong your forecasting function is, and we’ll probably disagree on that, they are guessing just as much as you are. Of course they have models and spreadsheets to justify their view of the world, but you have one thing they don’t – and that’s intuition.
This is the magic sauce that could bring your CSuite to the party.
Maybe you’ve heard of the ‘fuzzy front end’ or ‘future forecasting’. What they point to is a future sales figure that amounts to the same thing really: guesswork.
Your senior management has been around long enough to get into the CSuite. They’ve worked through cycles of business to achieve the sort of insight that can only come with time served and they know, more often than not, what good looks like.
So, if you can’t get them involved in the actual process of innovation, it’s worth bouncing the odd ball down the board table to see where their interest lies, what sparks their excitement, and where their intuition makes them look.
Awareness vs trust
In the digital marketing rule book, we are told there are three phases to online marketing: awareness, trust and conversion. It’s the same across your business structure and vertically from bottom to top.
Being noticed isn’t the same as being trusted, but getting an innovation concept through the stage gates means tapping into what becomes a reason to believe.
This may sound a bit too much like pragmatism to be true innovation, but innovation ultimately is a matter of commercial survival.
Today, you need a plan. If you don’t know where to start, or how to sell it in to your CSuite, get in touch. We do.
In the meantime, you can download our free guide to ‘Selling innovation into your own company’ here.
Future thinking. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.