It’s tough just to stay in touch with the rapid changes sweeping through almost every sector of business today. It’s nearly impossible to be one of the unicorns, the Ubers, Spotifys, Googles and Facebooks of the world.
While most customers, investors, employees and partners don’t expect you to be a unicorn they increasingly expect that you’ll do something about staying in tune with market needs and demands.
Staying in touch means our businesses have to innovate. And that means we must move beyond the traditional management models that promote executing and measuring internal measurables.
We also have to learn that innovation capability and capacity are things we can improve. We can take specific actions to get better at them. Innovation management isn’t the mythical hit-and-miss, pot-luck inspiration that seems to fly out of nowhere to strike like a Lotto win.
Innovation management improves as we improve many smaller, incremental elements of our businesses, the employees who run them, and the way we all collaborate and work together.
One element we have to change in our traditional businesses is learning to operate in uncertain environments, just the way start-ups do. Successful start-ups are good at managing uncertainty so we have to make processes that help people make good assumption and determine which are accurate, correct, and can be monetised.
We can use tools such as Design Thinking, Lean, Agile and others that promote cross-functional teams that pool expertise to mitigate the risks of uncertainty.
Taking those and other steps to build our capacities for these environments makes us resilient to change because we’re constantly managing our innovation. That keeps us relevant and it becomes a repeatable exercise because it gets baked into how we operate. We can help you bake it into your business.