I am interested in gaining an understanding of your most significant business challenges and opportunities.
What keeps you up at night? What is your biggest challenge and opportunity? Where do you need assistance in your business? What gap(s) do you need help with? Send me your challenge by contacting me and I will make it a topic for a future posting.
This week I have chosen the topic of Strategic Innovation & Disruption:
Now more than ever it is critical for business leaders to gain a renewed understanding of their business and the environment in which it operates and competes. Known market and environmental disruptors and the unforeseen COVID-19 impacts will require re-imagination. Often forgotten as we go about our day-to-day business is that strategic innovation is not static. It is constant and implementation and timing is important.
I recently was asked to consider a potential investment into the relaunch of an existing business concept through a new capital raise and strategy. This assignment provided me with an opportunity to communicate my insights into the ownership group. In doing so, I completed a deep dive into this topic and shared my thoughts with the business owners; feedback suggested that more work was required to reach a better understanding for:
- competitive positioning: what makes us unique (differentiator ) and/or sets us apart;
- cost structures: the key elements of innovation in cost reduction (principles of reducing and eliminating); and raising value (principles of raising and creating value);
- value: functional and emotional appeal, strategic niche, and trends
- avoiding complacency of past successes and the need for increased relevance in the marketplace.
Other considerations for continual strategic innovation:
- management must be open to being challenged; often business leaders get locked into what management thinks versus what the customer wants;
- Ensure you have a diverse board exercising good business judgement; they should be asking lots of questions in assessing the plan before approval (everyone should understand business drivers and then test and probe key strategies and business issues);
- obtaining an understanding of the relevancy of the strategy in consideration of market disruptors (does innovation address disruptors); competitive advantages; and have strategic alliances been leveraged (time and money savers);
- invest in independent business advisory experts as needed to eliminate management biases.
I hope you found this posting informative. Looking forward to your feedback and thoughts.