Innovation Quick Fix


Okay, not really a quick fix, more of a way to approach innovation that reduces risk and improves the chances of success.

Companies are being asked to innovate to improve and grow. While this is good advice, it is not massively helpful, because the desire to innovate is already there. We see that on a daily basis. It is the ‘how’ that companies struggle with.

Innovation by its very nature is risky, costly (more so if you get it wrong) and difficult. Therefore, it is usually a pursuit of the brave! Sadly true, but as we develop the tools and the understanding, it can become a sport for all.

Currently, the success rates for new product development are deplorable, with only 10% of products making it to market when corporations are controlling the development. This falls to an even more frightening 1% when fronted by an entrepreneur. This is unacceptable and should be addressed.

No one, who works that hard to do something new and challenging should face such insurmountable odds. So, how do we make it better?

To coin the phrase used by Apple in the 1980’s, you need to ‘Think Different!’. You ask the awkward questions and you make no assumptions. Your business has customers, so you need to talk to them. If your business has a supplier list and distribution network, you need to talk to them too. Most importantly of all, you have people in your business that you need to speak to too!

You may well have heard this all before, but I can assure you, this does not happen nearly as much as you think. So you need help. Not ‘advice’ or assistance, actual help from someone who has done it many times before. Just like you might outsource accountancy.

Innovation is about change and therefore everyone needs to understand why and how those changes are going to happen. This is a team sport, not the responsibility of a single individual or small team.

So, what about that quick fix? Well, that was a bit misleading. Design needs to be embedded into a company so that innovation can be second nature and continuously evolving. That’s how you make it quicker and easier.

Sounds like too much hard work? Ask someone to help you!

Take care.

Will M.

4c Design