There is always a certain impact that innovation brings, it should change habits, alter perceptions, improve our lives or alter the way we work and think.
Each change brought about by innovation does have different impact effects upon three important market constituents: customers, the markets and the industries themselves but also and often totally under-appreciated, internally on the innovator driving the change.
We need to understand the broader scope of our innovation
Until we understand the scope and impact of innovation we can’t fully grasp the nature and amount of change that innovation can unleash. It can alter businesses, shift markets and challenge customers to move away from their existing thinking into adopting this new product or service.
In a recent series introduced initially on www.innovationexcellence.com with this one being the second post, originally published on June 11, 2015, we discussed the importance of the emerging interplays and the primary participators in this interplay. This series will be re-produced here as it is a important concept to consider all the aspects within any innovation interplay.
Jeffrey Phillips of OVO Innovation and I, through my consultancy work at Agility Innovation, the co-authors of this series, would argue that we are failing to manage the different and multiple interplays that are constantly taking place when innovation occurs. We are often ignoring them and failing to extract the best or optimal value out of the innovation we are introducing.
Following on from the opening post that introduced the Interplays surrounding innovation this post explores the three essential constituents that are impacted by new innovation and are most likely going to have to make some form and level of change.
We are beginning to ‘flesh out’ beyond a White Paper we have just written called “the critical interplay among innovation, business models and change” the important interplay between innovation, business models and change.
Here in this post we are exploring the three primary constituents that are impacted by innovations that lead to change
The customer as the first constituent
The first constituent is the customer, where the ‘job’ your product or new service is seeking to resolve often requires very different actions, behaviors or beliefs, firstly to adopt the innovation but then to ‘extract’ the advantage gained in making the change.
Imagine fully designing and working with the community as part of your innovation offering and what additional value this can bring in dialogues, learning and potential for future enhancement. Of course, a number of organizations already do this but designing your innovation business model deliberately seeking out the understanding of change provides a growing rich sustaining advantage over your competitors.
You are exerting influence through encouraging interactions, you are encouraging the interplay. Of the three constituents the customer is the most obvious. As innovators we seek to provide products and services that address unmet needs. The customer and his or her needs should be the primary focus when we innovate. Engaging with the customer is our greater value adding point
The Market and your competitors
Each industry has established ‘norms’ that are increasingly under attack from new business models, new competitive threats that require a far greater understanding of the interplays going on.
We are seeing many conventions previously established being challenged not just by innovation itself but by the clear use of the business model to explore all the options available. We need to look no further than how the music retailing industry began to be disruptive not just be an innovation, but by superb product design and the ability to build a platform so our choice of music could be downloaded at anytime, anywhere (with a connection) and listening too on our phone, tablet or desktop.
Apple dramatically altered the music industry and built their unique understanding of all the connected interplays to leverage and exploit. The huge difference was their growing understanding of what can be put together that achieves this diffusion and rapid adoption that shifted an entire industry.
We see this occurring more and more but it is the value bundle built around an innovation that is driving such change and how much is ‘held within our hands’ or simply allowed to evolve through a lack of appropriate design or forethought?
A secondary goal when we innovate is to have a significant impact on our competitors, to force them to respond or change due to the nature or value of the product or service often created. Yet often in doing so, we often introduce other changes, that impact in channels, services and business models, which in turn may require changes by the innovator itself. The changes we ‘force’ on competitors requires response and then this creates further change across the board.
Then we have the innovator themselves
Often by refusing to open up the thinking and challenge the conventions and established processes and practices within organization we can totally miss the business opportunities that could come with it. Internal change is still seen internally as something to be avoided, often at all costs.
Whenever you seek to modify behaviour or change the industry expectations you need to be as ready to adjust within yourselves to this new reality and seize all its potential. What needs to be thought through deeply in our minds is changing the perceptions of internal change. Any interesting innovation will create change – for the customer, for the competitors or markets, and for the innovator. Yet few innovators are fully aware of the amount of change they themselves are unleashing or required to undertake.
Change today is without doubt a constant, existing systems need challenging constantly. We need to see the effect of change in more positive ways. There is really no “steady state”, constant change through innovation will become the predominant ‘ongoing’ state.
It is reducing the fear and uncertainty of change by taking a totally different view of the value of innovation that we can alter today’s change perspective into one where the organization is excited in pursuing new business opportunities, looking for new business models to change the existing dynamics simply because it is energizing to try out new things, to design a more holistic innovation experience that accounts for the customer and the market and constantly experiment with all that does ‘interplay’ around innovation
Change and innovation is all around us- these need to be the constant companions
Undergoing any change requires dramatically rethinking on the effects it is causing to customers, markets and on the competitors and within ourselves. We also need to constantly ask what effect any new innovation will have on the operating and business model . We often pay so much attention to “getting the innovation out of the door” we do not pay enough attention to its change effect and what this will mean on its ‘total’ effect. We can’t escape change; it is challenging us all constantly. Nothing is stable; through our learning, it is highly dynamic full of greater promise than we often realize.
In our white paper “the critical interplay among innovation, business models and change” we provide a foundation document that raises the importance of different interplays. Innovation lies in the interplay in change and new business model designs.