Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Innovation Strategy: Creating Competitive Advantage ... for Awhile

An innovation strategy is only good for a finite amount of time. One of the worst mistakes an organization can make is to assume that because an innovation strategy has been successful it will always be successful. In reality, the environment shifts -- customers' needs change, competition gets smarter, technologies improve, and the organization itself evolves -- and over time the strategy becomes obsolete. Time is relative. It depends upon the dynamics of the industry.

An innovation strategy is a complex pattern as represented by the innovation map. There are nine different types of innovation and therefore at least nine different principal foci of strategic intent, and there are even more complex secondary and tertiary patterns. The innovation map is a powerful tool for creating and depicting innovation strategies.

Once an innovation strategy has been selected, there is the establishment of a competitive advantage and an immediate vulnerability. On the competitive battlefield, an innovation strategy is like a decision to attack. Each movement creates the opportunity for a response. Each innovation strategy has included within it the seeds of its own destruction. This implies that strategies should be living concepts that link markets, organizational capabilities, business objectives, and stakeholder desires.

An innovation roadmap is the path an organization takes to move from one pattern of innovation to another. The creation of an innovation roadmap requires the integration of strategy, resources, enablers and culture.

Donna Prestwood & Paul Schumann


No comments:

Post a Comment