Accelerate Your Innovation Agenda post COVID 19

How can you accelerate your innovation agenda as you move onwards from COVID 19?  The pandemic we have faced for many months now is unique in some respects, but in many other ways we’ve faced these issues before. As we move forward, setting ourselves up for success will involve developing well-conceived and strategically aligned agendas.  We will need to consider evolving needs, understand market behaviours, and harvest opportunities.  Increasing the effectiveness of execution, being more open to change, and fostering collaboration will be critical factors in capturing business advantage in the face of new complexity and unknowns.

Hear our recent interview with Professor Leif Edvinsson, Brain of the Year, on what we can learn from past human experience – here.

The chart outlined below identifies 9 impact categories and highlights key questions about the opportunity or challenge that they might represent.

Accelerating Your Innovation Agenda: Learnings from the past and implications for the future

Embracing this opportunity and Accelerate Your Innovation Agenda.

Many organizations have found the COVID 19 experience challenging. The good news is that our research supports the view that the innovation capability of some industries has improved during the pandemic. Combatting uncertainty demands innovative ideas. As we move forward, the industry has a unique opportunity to capture the business advantage to transform itself.

Over the past several months, we have learned a lot about ourselves and how we respond to external unplanned events. We have weathered overwhelming challenges and at the same time made real progress in areas that have confounded us for years.  Digital capabilities have been at the forefront due to the realities of pandemic life. One of the biggest reasons for this progress is the level of acceptance and engagement of our customers.

We can embrace this opportunity to deliver products and services that exceed our customers’ expectations and to pivot our business model to capture new advantages, learning from past and present crises.

In HBR’s view, “companies that master the delicate balance between cutting costs to survive today and investing to grow tomorrow do well after a <downturn>” HBR 2010

As outlined above, the crisis has also made us revisit considerations such as the utility of physical real estate, technologies promised but resisted, the changing nature of work, and how we deal with whole categories of customers.

The crisis provided greater clarity around many of the issues that we faced in the past such as the nature and quality of our customers’ experiences, the meaning and need for increasing efficiency, the real utility of digitization outside of simple process change, access to opti-channel to effectively engage with customers, and others.

Capturing business advantage post-COVID 19.

The business advantage comes from understanding and responding to the ebbs and flows of your marketplace better than your competitors.   The COVID experience has challenged us, but this experience has also taught us more about our businesses.  We need to embrace this learning, protect the innovative environment that we have developed and draw upon that learning and patterns from the past to guide our way forward.

In the light of our experiences, four key actions will help capture business advantage post-COVID 19.

  • Reimagine our innovation agenda in the context of learnings. Identify the types and focus of innovation efforts that will optimize business going forward.
  • Align innovation capability against plans and address gaps in organizational capability. Acquire talent and capable partners to ensure success.
  • Introduce governance structures, metrics, tools, and a common language to support the chosen agenda.
  • Establish and celebrate internal innovation and ideation efforts to continue to grow and build a diverse portfolio of innovation and a passion for the future.

See our recent book, Play Bold, How to Win in the Business Game Through Creative Destruction, and specifically Chapter 8, “Hacking your business model” for more thoughts on how.

Helping you get started.

This is perhaps “the end of the beginning” as Churchill said.  Now more than ever, we are equipped with sophisticated tools, data, and insights that can bring a higher level of certainty to the actions we undertake. The “new normal” offers industry learnings and exciting prospects. It’s up to us to take advantage of them and learn from past crises.

Focus your innovation efforts. Improve customer experience. Plan your path forward using powerful insights and time-saving resources. For more information on how to accelerate your innovation agenda, click here.

For more information on Innovation 360 Group, click here.

About the author: Gerry Purcell is a Principal of Innovation 360 Group and Managing Director, of Innovation 360 Canada.  His experience and understanding of the underpinnings of how strategy execution works, and the social, physical, and structural dynamics of organizations, enable his clients to harness their entrepreneurial spirit, break new ground, communicate broadly, uncover new ideas, and seek that thought unattainable. Hear more from Gerry and his guests on The Finnovate Show, one of our podcasts.