Innovation Strategy is becoming more and more of a buzzword in today’s organizational context and used almost everywhere along with business strategy and digital transformation. However, with overuse of any concept, we tend to lose its true meaning, in this case, the concept of innovation. So how can we define innovation strategy and what are the effective ways that leaders can implement to meet their organization’s innovation needs?
First: Innovation Strategy is a Strategy.
Innovation is not a thing you can do once and be done with—it’s an ongoing process that requires constant experimentation and adaptation. A well-defined innovation strategy outlines how your organization will pursue innovation, which forms of innovation it will focus on, and how it will capture value from those innovations.
Second: Innovation Is Not a Single Thing.
There’s more than one way to innovate, and not all innovations are created equal. Some are incremental improvements on existing products or services; others are disruptive changes that completely change the game. The best innovation strategies take into account the company’s unique competitive circumstances to determine what kinds of innovations are most likely to create value for customers and capture value for the business.
Third: Innovation Is Not Just Science.
Innovation is not just about science; it’s about having an entrepreneurial mindset in every corner of your organization. In order for your business to truly innovate, everyone needs to be thinking about new ways of doing things—from top management down through the ranks of employees who interact directly with customers on a daily basis.
Thus, while most strategies focus on generating solutions, very few leaders invest their energy on finding the right question or problem at hand. People tend to jump to conclusions before hearing the whole story or analyzing the entire complexity of the challenge. This can lead to many great solutions but they will not necessarily shift us into the new direction we have been aiming for, because most of the time the source of the challenges has not been formulated and thus the true problem did not get addressed in the first place.
So instead of asking what is the solution right way, we could rather ask ourselves: which challenges are we going to focus on? Do we know the true source(s) of our problems & challenges? What does this problem mean to the people and stakeholders who are impacted by it? What is the “right” way to think about this?
Our Suggested Approach: Think Wrong!
Thinking Wrong is a concept coined by SolveNext Team located in Silicon Valley California. It is based on the Think Wrong™ methodology, which is a process that leads us to unlearn the usual status quo and invite a bold, courageous innovation system. This system involves a series of practices to find fresh inspiration and generate status-quo-busting solutions by solving the real issues at hand in a creative and unexpected matter. To expand this concept globally, SolveNext partnered with Riyadh based consultancy, Transform to facilitate a 3 day – Think Wrong™ Certification late 2022 to focus on exactly just that: Thinking Wrong.
After attending this 3-day workshop, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, participants got the chance to learn the Think Wrong™ methodology and drills that help teams get into the bold path rather than the predictable one. AIthough nothing replaces the value of attending the Think Wrong™ intensives workshops, the following 6-steps summary by Think Wrong™ author, Greg Galle, can be applied by anyone who wants to transform their way of problem-solving:
1- BE BOLD: Dare to make a difference. Dare to say things that come to mind without any filters. Allow your ideas and your team to flow freely without hesitation or judgement. This is a divergent stage were you want to expand as much as possible. Note it all down.
2- GET OUT: Find Fresh Inspiration. Get out of you comfort zone and usual environment. Literally get up and walk outside, talk to strangers, take new route, even listen to children as you explain to them your challenge. The idea is challenge yourself to see things from different angles and perspectives and hear voices that dont usually exist in your current environment.
3- LET GO: Expand what is possible. Have the courage to let go of familiar concepts and habits. If someone’s idea sounds crazy instead of rejecting it give it a shot. Let go of your fears and traditioanl ways of thinking. Allow new ideas and different views to have a seat on the table. You never know which one will actually create that breakthough.
4- MAKE STUFF: Gain insights through making. Begin solving by making and observe what emerges as you build your solution. In other words don’t overthink , just get to the doing part.
5- BET SMALL: Discover what works in small outputs. Don’t invest all your time and money on the concept stage. Start with small risks and build up as you go. This helps in redirecting your efforts with minimal downtime & costs.
6 – MOVE FAST: Achieve Impact sooner. Don’t wait till your prototype is perfect just launch it when it is good enough and improve it as you go and get realo world feedback. If it fails its better to fail fast and go back quickly to drawing board without wasting much time.
For a chance to learn more about this methodology and become a Certified Wrong Thinker and to join our Global Community of Innovators please visit https://solvenext.com/think-wrong. If you are in GCC region, get in touch with certified partner Transform, to register for the next available certification at www.transform.com.sa/contact us.
Transform is a Saudi-based management consultancy company specialized in leadership development, culture transformation, strategic delivery, corporate innovation, and network analysis with a deep understanding of the local Saudi culture and global trends.
About Solve/Next Inc.:
Solve Next has equipped hundreds of individuals, teams, and organizations worldwide to solve problems in new and ingenious ways and to make the most of their most precious forms of capital—financial, human, social, reputational, political, and intellectual. Solve Next delivers all the important tools that executives, managers, and teams need to operate a disciplined system of innovation.
Source: Think Wrong- How to Conquer the Status Quo and Do work that matters, which is available on Amazon and in Arabic language on www.jarir.com.