March 13, 2008 by Stephen Shapiro
The ultimate outcome of innovation is profitable growth by achieving competitive separation, i.e., the attributes of your offering must excel vs. competition in the eyes of your target customers. However, in times like these many companies are striving for survival or the very least improving their balance sheets. I thought this was an interesting summary of innovative approaches to enhance the quality of your businesses
1. "Use Open Innovation to Reduce R&D Costs
Sometimes it can be less expensive to have others do your innovating for you. Organizations like InnoCentive enable you to define the “value” of a new idea and then post your request to a large community of expert solvers
2. Process Innovation to Reduce Operating Costs
3. Use Innovation to Match Supply and Demand During
the 2001 dot-com bubble burst, they (Accenture) used a different approach.
Instead of handing out pink slips, they offered a leave of absence for a period
of time. The employee on sabbatical would get 20% of their salary (plus
benefits) and would be assured a job upon their return.
4. Solve Your Customers’ Pain
During a recession, your customers will probably reduce
spending, especially on discretionary items. But they may be willing to invest
in products or services that eliminate their pains
5. Fail Cheaply
6. Before You Can Multiply, You Must First Learn to Divide The idea is that if you want to grow your business, you must learn to partner with others - and give them a slice (and a vested interest in YOUR success). This means you take a smaller slice of a bigger pie. With the economic downturn, this philosophy is
even more appropriate.
7. Use Innovation to Improve Your Suppliers’ Business "
If any of you have experienced such innovation efforts at your companies, please share it with the group.