Not all innovation is created equally
I talk to clients about their innovation plans and technology all the time, especially their plans with technologies that are emerging, like the ones I blogged about here from our report, “The Top Emerging Technologies To Watch 2018.”
It’s become clear to us that finding innovative ways to exploit emerging technology has become really important to enterprises — in fact, using emerging technology is the number one way firms of over 1,000 employees intend to innovate in 2018. Leveraging new technology is also the number one thing firms that want to create new business models plan to do.
My colleague James Staten in his new report, “Not All Innovations Are Created Equal,” addresses the problem that it’s too easy to apply innovation just to solve existing business problems — something he calls creeping incrementalism — or pursue innovation as a way to try to fend off disruptors. These create a false sense of security. Firms get to check the innovation box because they are perhaps using new technology to get better at what they do and keep disruptors at bay.
James powerfully points out that, according to noted author Clayton Christensen, your odds of success are 20 times greater when you pursue a disruptive course. To help CIOs evaluate their innovation portfolio, James identifies five types of innovation — two tactical and three disruptive.
Here Are My Takeaways
In reading the report, I took away a few key ideas:
Sustained Business Acceleration Puts Fast Followers In Danger
I’ve been writing and speaking a lot about exponential trends and the effect they are having on the pace of business — something I call sustained business acceleration. Often, fast followers think they can draft behind the bleeding edge, then zoom ahead when the time is right. I think this only works for firms that have created the right technology foundation so that they can gas it and go. It’s time to critically evaluate your firm.
Do you have the right mix of innovations in your portfolio? Do you have the right foundation to accelerate with technology as you innovate? If you aren’t sure, come engage with us, as our research can definitely help you build out a winning innovation strategy. I’m looking forward to connecting with you.
(This post originally appeared on the Forrester Research blog, which can be viewed here).