The innovation landscape for 2018 is so exciting and so uncertain that it’s hard to know which way to turn. Which idea to invest in, which competitor to watch, which customer to target? We’re at the tipping point of so many technological developments and behavioural shifts that the dilemma is understandable.
And yet, no-one can stand and watch. Having a strategy that centres on innovation is now more important to business success than ever before. Here’s why. In 2014 some figures were published reporting the life expectancy of companies listed on the S&P 500 to be 18 years. Otherwise put, 75% of the companies listed on the index at that time would be replaced by new businesses we haven’t even heard of within 10 years.
These figures were generated before the current rate of change really took hold. Absolute figures are hard to find now but let’s take a wild guess (call it a forecast if you like) and suggest that this outlook might be overly positive in some cases.
This list from World Economic Forum says a lot about what to look out for and reinforces the call for innovation to be nmore than just a part of what you do.
- The right strategic vision is critical – in addition to anticipating what your customers are going to want, you need to define the depth and scope of the changes and redesign your internal processes and broader ecosystem.
- Execution is the hardest part of transformation – more than half of all companies undertaking transformation will fail to achieve their desired outcomes. One of the most common stumbling blocks is underestimating the operating model refinements that will be required across the organisation.
- Beware leaders who are clinging to past or current successes – this is the hypnotic siren song of the status quo. Transformation needs to be a continuous, never-ending process rather than a distinct ‘event’.
On the other hand, “Great companies make change for a living.” Thank you, Michael Schrage: