3 Things to Consider When Developing an Innovative Strategy

Strategy.jpg3 Things to Consider When Developing an Innovative Strategy

By Renee T. Sanders

 

Photo on 5-8-13 at 1.08 PM #3

So do you ever wonder what new innovation strategies exist that will catapult your product or service to the front and center of the pack?  You are not alone, so do many others seeking to invent the next hottest technology, or consider new ways to innovate medicine, or ways to weave innovation culture into the business.  Yet competition is fierce, not only in your local market, but also worldwide.  Emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) place even further pressure on being more innovative.

Then if that is not enough, businesses are crossing into lanes that they have never competed in before, including developing alliances and strategic partners and nearly erasing all lines between industries.  Furthermore, customer loyalty isn’t what it used to be.  Customers seek more features, quicker services, lower prices, are picky and will switch so fast it will make anyone’s head spin…it is nearly mind boggling.  Isn’t the goal of creating an innovative strategy really about increasing the profits and market share of the company?  Whatever your goal, there are three things to consider when creating an innovation strategy.

First – Create an Innovative Environment

Gone are the days of command and control hierarchical organizations.  Innovative companies need a more collaborative environment.  This means the traditional organizational structure needs to change.  A flatter organizational structure provides the rich atmosphere needed to collaborate and make quick decisions.  Also when working with teams nationwide or globally, there is a greater need to work in smaller teams so that decisions are enacted faster.  Be sure to value the input of everyone on the team.  By nature, humans like praise, and a little goes a long way.  Creating an environment that pushes experimentation can lead to the development of multiple strategic initiatives.

 Second – Develop Multiple Strategic Initiatives

In today’s turbulent environment the goal of your competitors is to reduce your market share while increasing theirs.  Pursuing one single strategic initiative is the old way of thinking.  In times of change we need to think about ways to develop multiple strategic initiatives.  Doing so forms the basis for having an agile, responsive answer that provides more long-term advantages over your competitors by constantly introducing continuous change as the norm for business.  In my opinion, Apple has taken this approach to strategy development and have benefited tremendously.

Third – Competitor Analysis is Still Key

When I develop strategies I still look at my market with a jaundice eye.  For me, that means analyzing who my competitors are.  Sometimes we think we know, or have neatly placed the names of a few companies we constantly compete against in our files.  The question you should ask is who are the new entrants into the field?  What are their strengths and vulnerabilities?  Who are their customers and what are they buying from them?  Finally, what are your companies’ capabilities?  This approach to strategy development is key.

Use of this approach provides a good catalyst for examining your companies’ capabilities in light of the competition, and the question you should ask is what do we need to do differently. Strategy development is purposeful and fluid and incorporating an innovative environment is a key strategic component.   The pace of advancement is mind-boggling and as a result strategy tools are so important in how we view the world and our approach for developing solutions and or meeting the needs of the end user.  So examine your market from a worldwide perspective and give thought on how your strategy is shaped in light of new and future changes.  You never know, you just might have the next big thing everyone must have.

Cheers!

Follow me on twitter @reneetsanders

Renee Sanders is a PhD candidate in business at Capella University, where her specialization is strategy and innovation. Renee holds an BBA and MBA from the University of Maryland University College. Renee currently works in for a defense contractor as the Director of Strategic Pricing and Price to Win.

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