To Work With Innovation Is Complex And Difficult

On the other hand can the profit be new customers and new markets. Here you will get some of our experiences from many years of counseling.

After the economic crisis innovation has once again become a top priority in the companies’ pursuit for growth. Most of company management often speak loudly about their focus on customer orientation and innovation, but are not as loud when it comes to the results.

All too often the customer experience that the product hasn’t been significantly improved and most product launches only has a short time in the spot light before a new product approaches. Here is a few pieces of advice that can contribute to the realizations of your innovation potential.


Bring the necessary skills into play.

Innovation is a complex discipline – with many elements. In the process everything is reviewed from customer insight and positioning to product name, design, production, packing, and price – but also communication, channel, placement in store, POS-materials, distribution and much more.

All of it must be integrated and fit the target group, their needs and behavior. As such innovation requires strong skills in consumer and customer insight, marketing, design, communication, sale, production, economy, IP-rights , etc., – and, not least, project management, there has to connect the whole thing from idea to development to launch to follow up. No wonder if you can feel overwhelmed. But if everyone gives input with their skills, it can be done.


Accept that innovation and risk goes hand in hand

Innovation is by definition inter functional and spans from the strategic to the operational. Furthermore the work with fundamental new solutions and products is always surrounded by uncertainty and therefore requires investment, willingness for risk, willingness to fail (and acceptance of it) – and learning as you go along in the project.

If you want a culture that gets value from innovation, it is crucial to know the rules of the game and incorporate them in the company culture and the every day routine.


Communicate the ambition and created get necessary work space.

The desire to work with innovation HAS to be anchored at the very top – and be communicated loud and clear to the whole organization. It must be clear that innovation is something that is something you wanted, parallel with performance and continual development of the core business. It is not either or it is yes and no.

It is also important to allocate dedicated work resources that can work independently with innovation, but also is able to involve and implicate colleagues or business partners with the right skills.


Customer insight must permeate all innovation

Most important of all the work with innovation is customer insight. Deep, sincere, relevant and executable customer insight. Customer insight is the holy grail of effective innovation and must permeate the whole innovation process from A to Z, i.e., development of strategy, definition of focus areas (innovation platforms), idea generation, concept development, product development, production, commercialization, evaluation and follow up.

Especially in so-called ”front-end” innovation work, it is important that one dares to challenge the company’s traditional view of customers, users, decision-maker, their needs, behavior, preferences, motive, barriers, etc. Through ethnographic research methodology one can dig significantly deeper and identify the actual needs of drivers, which can we used for effective idea generation and concept development.


Structure the innovation process – and remember to be flexible

To work effectively from idea to launch, a structured innovation process is necessary. Whether it is according to the traditional stage-gate-model or the more iterative co-creation-methods. The process ensures efficiency in the development period, the best possible decision-making at the best possible time – and minimization of risk.

Last but not least, the process also works as a necessary management and prioritizing tool for each innovation and the whole portfolio. There can be taken action on the projects that doesn’t live up to the requirements, either the customers or the company’s.

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