To successfully launch a new treatment protocol without cannibalizing the company’s current best selling treatment for the same health condition.
Develop a consumer profile for each treatment and a differentiated communication strategic plan for both.
Deep dive • Research • Mapping • Differentiation • Strategic Innovation • Launch
After a deep dive to understand the differences and subtleties of each treatment option, we conducted a thorough research using a consumer centric approach by asking patients, doctors, caregivers and other stakeholders to share some insights on each of their experiences, including their particular pain points, with regards to the condition and its treatment. Then we translated the most relevant insights into different patient journey maps; each map highlighted moments in each patient’s journey that posed fundamental questions for everyone in the process.
We designed a “strategy game” where team members had to make high stake decisions with regards to the wellbeing of others while having limited information to go on. The game became:
• A forum for decision makers to discuss strategic choices within a variety of high/low risk scenarios
• The way to clarify group mindset about treatment options
• A means to establish priorities after understanding the complexities all parties face when treating the condition.
It also helped the team understand how different stakeholders assess risk according to how their personal biases shape their reality; for example a: doctor’s thought process for prescribing a treatment to a patient.
By recognizing the limitations of a “one size fits all” approach to patient segmentation, the client was able to determine that the communication strategy for this new treatment had to be aligned with both the patient’s and caregiver’s needs instead of previous determining criteria, like demographic profiles, previous treatment response, doctor’s point of view, etc., thus creating a communication strategy the clearly differentiated the new treatment from the existing one.
A patient assessment questionnaire was designed as tool to facilitate the “difficult conversations” between doctors and caregivers that were previously being ignored. Armed with a better understanding of the patient’s and caregiver’s needs and desires, doctors were able to prescribe the treatment option that best aligned with them.
By eliminating speculation and opening new and more honest channels of communication, we were able to create space so that both treatments could succeed in the market.
Insurance or Consumer Goods or Corporate Products (THIS NEEDS TO BE DEFINED – IS IT A CONSUMER OR CORPORATE GOODS COMPANY THAT SIMULTANEOULSY OFFERS PRODUCT PROTECTION PLANS, OR AN INSURANCE COMPANY THAT TEAMS UP WITH OTHER COMPANIES TO PROVIDE INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR THE PRODUCT? IT’S SUPER UNCLEAR.
Our client, an insurance firm offering protection plans for consumer goods or company selling consumer goods along with protection plans, experienced a steady decline in sales. Attempts to reverse that trend, like investing a considerable amount in communication efforts and lowering the plans price point had failed to move the needle.
Find out what the consumers perception of the plan was, expose what were the deal breakers and discover what would motivate them to sign up.
Initial Assessment • Insight Hunting • Reassessment • Innovation
We set out on a mission to find answers as to why the protection plan just wasn’t selling by fully assessing consumer’s perception and level of interest in the plan.
For our insight discovery phase, we targeted consumers that had purchased the product but not the protection plan. After interviewing them, we found that as they purchased the product they were also keen on purchasing protection for their investment. That led us to question why they had not done so at the time of purchase. When asked, consumers claimed to be unaware of such offering and further more, claimed that had they known about it, they would have signed up. The reason? Paying for repairs out of pocket usually ends up costing way more than insuring the product. To them it seemed like the smart choice.
With such an unexpected outcome of our interview process, we had to take a step back to reassess what part of the consumer journey was the real problem. Taking a different course of action, we looked inwards and found the answer within the records of the sales department.
The consumer database showed that new hires were hitting the mark on their protection plan sales, while those working there for two years or more were hardly selling the product. By digging deeper we were able to find that long time employees had discovered a loophole in the plan that went against the best interest of their clients, and they did not feel comfortable selling it to them. They were honest about this and admitted prioritizing the development of a long term, trustworthy relationship with their clients, over the sales incentive offered by the company.
A new protection plan was co-created using the valuable feedback we gathered from the sales force. The loophole was closed, and the team felt once again confident in offering it to they loyal clientele. Sales quickly went up 18%, and not surprisingly, remained intact a year later after a price increase on the new plan.
To redesign a corporate incentives program to achieve higher participation and drive healthy team competition.
To untangle a complex set of reward metrics to drive employee engagement, provide better odds of success and increase overall satisfaction in the workplace.
Deep dive • Insight Hunting • Reinvention • Testing • Implementation
The client had an employee referral program for cross selling company products/services, but it lacked clarity and consistency in how points were accumulated and rewards redeemed. This resulted in alienating employees, dividing them into three very different groups:
• High achievers
• Occasional participants
• Disengaged team members
We set out to find the drivers and motivators for each profile, while hunting for insights on how they perceived the program.
We conducted small-scale focus groups that revealed how disproportionally each group perceived the value of their effort vs the reward. Even more interesting were the findings on how members viewed their performance and how it should be rewarded, which was significantly different from the way the company leads did. To sum it up:
• Occasional participants believed they were high achievers
• Disengaged team members felt “entitled” to more incentives
• High achievers decided to focus exclusively on what they knew yielded high rewards, thus missing out on many other opportunities
We informed the administrative team that the lack of understanding on how the incentives worked was killing the program’s chance of success. We started to simplify the incentives program by shifting the focus of employee communications from complicated reward metrics to giving participants a clear understanding of their potential increase in income if fully engaged in the program.
As a second step, Program Reports were created so that everybody have visibility of other team member’s performance and use it as an incentive for growth. The report also presented actionable items that employees could implement to increase their earnings, while tracking their success over time.
The incentive program shifted dramatically from complicated to simple. It is now focused on collective growth, by providing positive feedback to team members, served with a small dose of healthy competition. Participants that were underperforming became motivated once they saw their own potential. Meanwhile, high achievers organically took on the role of trainers, and ended up getting larger rewards through a customized development program. It became a win-win situation for all involved.
To truly unearth the impact and the level of support and/or opposition the designation of the first ever National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) in the United States would get from the communities affected by the project.
Device a strategy to boldly do what no other environmental protection agency had been able to: get the parties involved talking about the issues that trigger their feelings of acceptance or rejection towards the project, and most importantly, discovering the underlying meaning of what the area to be protected represents for each of them.
Strategic Thinking • Insight Hunting • Collaborative Work • Final Assessment
We created a safe environment to bring together the opinion leaders from the fishing community and the tourism businesses in the area that had the most clashing views or strongest opinions with regards to environmental protection. We wanted them to have a civilized sit down, while we worked through the trust issues created by the lack of transparency and the misinformation amongst the parties involved, in order to get them talking.
After a lot of out of the box thinking we decided to use a highly collaborative approach. We brought in a Public Relations expert as a neutral entity to “witness” the process for the sake of transparency.
She was also there to contain the spread of false or misleading information by stating facts, and to keep exchanges respectful while we moderated the sessions.
We kicked the initiative off with 32 mini focus groups, segmented by target group to ease tensions and build trust. Lots of powerful insights were gathered from each session.
Then we devised 4 collaborative work sessions where we brought folks from all target audiences and facilitated different dynamics so they could discuss, seek to align and agree on how to approach the communication of the potential designated area.
Results were translated into various communication concepts that tackled each groups concerns while posing a fundamental belief most of them agreed on: that protecting the environment is our responsibility.
Our client realized that in order to have this project be a success he needed to have more fishermen on board, so it was postponed. Our insights on how perceptions could be positively altered and on what each community needed to support the designation of the marine sanctuary led to transformative and meaningful communication and the emergence of a partnership with community leaders to plan a better defined solution.
It is 2020 and innovation has become crucial: innovate or die, they say. Most companies today realize the need to innovate in order to survive, but don’t know how to get started. Lateral Strategy breaks the process down into manageable chunks and helps you get out of innovation anxiety by guiding you through each step of the way. Whether you’re doing research to discover what needs to get done, ideating or validating a solution to get your idea to move forward, we know innovation is a struggle. We also know, that reluctance to innovate can crush a business, and we won’t let it crush yours.
So what can a company do to avoid being disrupted?
If you are a leader, then you understand how people feel about your product or service, right? Companies focus time and energy understanding the practical value of their products or service, but the symbolic value of the situation in which the product is bought, the stories, the complexities, and the quiet grievance behind why they buy is often left unattended. Companies have taken a mathematical approach to understanding consumers, and that can turn into liability.
At Lateral Strategy, we have noticed a massive disconnect between why people buy and why companies think people buy. When companies don’t understand what space their brand holds in the consumer’s life, they are missing out on a crucial aspect of insight hunting and innovation. Companies cannot continue being linear about innovation. They need to read between the lines to discover that, buried underneath what people do not say, is a treasure trove of opportunities.
The first step to innovate is therefore to understand consumers and the problem they would like to get solved. Articulating unmet needs is hard because ideas are fragile. That means, we wished the problem gets solved, but hardly know how it could be solved. The best way to approach innovation is through Human Centric Research, or the kind of research that allow client’s to understand consumer’s unspoken needs and values.
Research that is done through traditional methodologies may not yield the human insights needed to innovate. After years of taking a traditional approach to research and later becoming research user ourselves, we noticed how much potential there was to ask more meaningful questions and to make research more insightful through the use of different projective and creative dynamics. So Lateral Strategy took a different approach: we started doing research with the consumer in mind instead of the brand. That way people would reveal desires they might not even have known they had, and our brands were enabled to act upon them.
Because we are innovation developer’s, our research process is different. We start every project by asking clients what decision they want to make with the information gathered and what gaps of information they currently have. We call this the burning question– the questions they need answered before making a decision.
The biggest predictor of a client’s enthusiasm for innovation is the amount of interest they dedicate to discovering their burning research question. If they are looking for something quick and easy, or prefer to delegate the work completely, it is very likely that they are doing the research to cross it off their to do list or to confirm a preestablished hypothesis. In those situations, we recognize that we may not the right fit to lead the project, not because we don’t want to take on that type of work, but because Lateral Strategy focuses on actionable research and we know our talent will be underutilized. That is what we mean when we say we are looking for BOLD clients. Our best work is for BOLD people that are seeking BOLD opportunities to push INNOVATION forward.
Unfortunately, many clients still see research as a mere checkmark on their to-do list, something that needs to be done simply because that’s “just the way we were taught.” Shortcomings are rarely questioned, and flaws are seldom addressed. The marketplace has changed, and consumers have changed, but companies continue to rely on the traditional – an overly corporate business environment that makes seeking deeper understanding a challenge.
And that is why getting to the burning question is important. In the end it is really up to the client to decide whether they want a steak or a hot dog, and either choice is fine. The decision largely depends on what will be done with the information obtained- will they pursue innovation or add a checkmark to the “to-do” list?
At Lateral Strategy, we love innovation. We are committed to helping companies develop innovations through 2 services: Human Centric Research and Innovation Development. On our mission to recover the bold spirit traditional researchers have lost we avoid traditional methodologies to reveal what brands are really capable of. To this end, we are revolutionizing the way in which information is gathered and interpreted. Our goal is to inspire your team to find breakthrough solutions for the consumers they wish to serve.
Despite leaps in what we can do, most of us still follow comfortable, pre-scripted paths. We work hard, but hardly question whether we are working smart. Let alone, if we are leading a fulfilling life.
I have always admired authenticity and boldness. As a firm believer that everyone has some boldness within them, I’ve come to realize that it just takes someone to push the right buttons for this inner spark to come to life. In my training as a researcher and strategic planner, I was constantly pushed to question the status quo and to seek a further understanding of consumer behavior. Both clients looking for unique opportunities as well as agencies that embraced originality and big ideas pushed my buttons, inciting the audaciousness in me.
After 10 years immersed in the world of market research, I started to become bored of inauthentic conversations and an office culture that embraced being corporate – conventional, square, orthodox.
For some clients, research had become a way to highlight the good and cover up the bad. While others loved how I questioned shortcomings, addressed flaws, and pushed them to think of more creative ways to gather and interpret the information. If questioning assumptions and challenging conventional wisdom lead to innovation and growth, why were some clients so complacent about status quo?
So I decided to focus on clients seeking something new, different, braver, and bolder. Lateral Strategy was born out of the need to pursue an unconventional line of questioning to reach the deeper underlying issues plaguing a client’s entrepreneurial endeavors. Our mission became clear: to recover the bold spirit that researchers had lost sight of.
We are a new breed of Human Centric Research and Innovation Facilitation firm, that provides services to brands looking to better connect with consumers and make their products/services more meaningful and engaging. We dream of a world where companies connect with humans, not consumers. We believe that innovating on how we gather and interpret information inspires breakthrough solutions.
To this end, we go where others barely scratch the surface and ask what needs to be asked.
Using ingenious tools, we guide teams through various insight-led innovation processes that draw from Design Thinking, Creative Problem Solving, Lateral Thinking, and Synecticsframeworks to help clients rid themselves of innovation anxiety and get into the creative flow that allows them to view problems in a new light. With a newfound consumer perspective, we then inspire and help the client team to co-create solutions and detect bold business opportunities for their companies.
The world doesn’t need another market research agency, it needs more creative insights and more empowered employees inspired to problem solve. We need less of what has always been done, and more of what’s unexpected, refreshing, and bold.
Our last blog post focused on feeling “stuck” and offered a few ways to help you move forward. This week’s blog continues to explore the tools you can use to get “unstuck” and bring your ideas to life.
Below are two different approaches for getting your creative juices flowing, and real-life success stories that will inspire you to think laterally.
1. Reframe the problem
Retreat to the initial query and figure out a way to rework the question. By giving it a twist, you can trick your brain into thinking of it as a brand-new issue and in turn, that may help you come up with better ideas.
Here’s a clear example of what we mean. At the airport, people often complain about the long wait time at the baggage claim. Engineers asked themselves the obvious: “How can we speed up the conveyor belts?”. They invested thousands of dollars into the belt mechanisms and cut the wait time by more than half (15 minutes to 8 minutes).
Success, right? Well, people still complained.
The engineers then decided to rephrase the question to “How can we reduce passanger’s wait time?”. The new concept involved making the wait time shorter, not the baggage delivery faster. The solution: prolong the time it takes for passangers to arrive at the baggage claim area. At first, this may sound counterintuitive, but this solution not only increased customer satisfaction, but it also increased duty-free store sales.
The dilemma could have been posed in many different ways. Here is how other people have solved the problem:https://www.synectmedia.com/work-solution/reimagined-baggage-claim-experience It is important to note how the consumer pain point one chooses to solve for or the insight you chose to leverage, in this case Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time, has a direct impact on the type of solutions found.
What ideas can you come up with if the question had been “How to keep passengers entertained while waiting for their luggage”?
2. Assumption reversal
Imagine you’ve been hired to create a unique concept for a new restaurant. The most evident route to take is to think about modifying the food and/or the décor, both key elements of every restaurant. But, instead of adding something new, how about removing a variable from your restaurant?
Foremost, make a list of the things that every restaurant should have. Food, chairs, tables, cooks, waiters, an entry, etc. With such a long list of “should have”, there is little space to innovate!
Assumption reversal is a great tool for coming up with new concepts. It works like this: eliminate one item from the list and reimagine what a restaurant without that would look like. Say we choose to develop a restaurant without cooks! What ideas come to mind?
· Guests bring their own homemade meal, and the emphasis is put on excellent service.
· Guests choose from a variety of ingredients and cook communally.
· Students or children cook while learning core skills.
Say there were no tables…
· Guests could enjoy their food in a cozy lounge setting
· Guests eat standing at the kitchen table while the chef demonstrates how to prepare the dishes.
There exists a type of restaurant in some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities (such as Paris, London, and NYC) that doesn’t have lights (http://travel.spotcoolstuff.com/unusual-restaurants-eating-in-the-dark). The idea is that by suppressing one sense the rest become heightened, leading you to relish your food that much more.
These are just some of the countless ideas you could come up with using this technique. We are so used to thinking that creativity lies in running free and uninhibited, that we overlook the fact that creativity can exist and flourish within restrictions.
Lateral Strategy specializes in moving ideas forward. We are an Insight and Innovation Studio that uses Creative Problem Solving, Design Thinking and Synectics Innovation Frameworks to help clients problem solve by understanding customer’s needs. Our services include Research, Ideation and Strategic Facilitation to help you learn the new, make sense of what you already know and pave the road to success. We bring actionable insight to all Research projects and move clients to solution finding faster.
Do questions such as, “Where am I?”, “How did I get here?” and “How can I move forward?” strike a particular nerve in you?
If the answer is yes, chances are, you’re stuck. So, what can you do to carry on?
It is entirely OK to be stuck. Being an expert on something can run us the risk of being blinded to other perspectives. While it can be hard to see the way out when you’re right in the thick of it, you must remember that we’ve all been stuck before, and have come out on the other side with great learnings (and stories) and relatively unharmed.
The good news is, you probably are not as stuck as you think, and there are a few things you can do to help yourself. Pause. Rethink. Find support. Remember, being stuck is fertile ground for a transformation to occur; it is an invitation to grow.
Beyond going out for a walk, detaching yourself from the problem, and ping-ponging ideas with a friend (the usual advice), here are three innovation tools/techniques that can help you get out of your creative block.
1. Seek out a different opinion
Odds are, many people and industries have had to confront challenges similar to the ones you are facing right now. Learn from them, observe how they solved the problem, and use that knowledge to your advantage. Often time the learnings are applicable to your problem or their approach could inspire your way of thinking.
When I worked in the restaurant industry, a bottleneck often formed in the cook line when certain dishes were ordered. The obvious solution would have been to eliminate those dishes from the menu, but instead, we commission a short experiment. To learn about this issue, we thought about other industries where speed and momentum were essential to problem-solving; two people studied the logistics of the pit stop at an auto race, while two others examined a speed dating session in New York City. We learned not only the importance that rehearsing and preparation can have but how the right flow (of people and ingredient placement) can avoid jamming the line. If most of the ingredients were readily prepared well beforehand, the sauté station wouldn’t get as congested in the middle of a busy shift.
This technique is derived from Lateral Thinking, the ability to use your imagination to see problems from a new, fresh angle in order to generate solutions. Lateral Strategy’s name is inspired by this strategic and creative thinking technique invented by Edward DeBono who became World famous for the six-thinking hats tool some of you have probably heard of.
2. Draw inspiration from hacks, workarounds and polarizing points of view.
Another suggestion is to seek extreme users, people who either overuse or underuse your product or service. Someone who has a completely different opinion on a certain issue than the average person can help you pull out meaningful needs that may not pop out when you focus on engaging with mainstream users. Extreme users have opposing attitudes and conversing with them can help you turn your conventional idea into a very unique one. You can find your niche in their uncommon interests, and perhaps even turn a rare concept into a trending topic.
One example of this is vegan food products. Not too long ago, dietary restriction was considered pretty extreme by the average consumer. Vegan products were perceived as unappetizing, bland, and pricey – until recently. Beyond Meat, a company that produces plant-based meat alternatives, partnered with Pizza Hut Puerto Rico to sell the “Beyond Sausage Pizza”. Vegans and meat-lovers alike are loving the newest menu item. The collaboration helped Beyond Meat move from niche to mainstream. Who would have guessed 10 years ago that a partnership like this one would have worked?
Lateral Strategy specializes in moving ideas forward. We are an Insight and Innovation Studio that uses Creative Problem Solving, Design Thinking and Synectics Innovation Frameworks to help clients problem-solve by understanding customers’ needs. Our services include Research, Ideation and Strategic Facilitation to help you learn the new, make sense of what you already know, and pave the road to success. We bring actionable insight to all Research projects and move clients to solution finding faster.
According to the Interaction Design Foundation, Design Thinking (DT) is “an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions…”All types of professionals and industry insiders can benefit from incorporating Design Thinking into their work, from artists and writers to engineers and scientists. It’s a mindset that positions the target user at the core, along with a solutions-based approach, in order to solve challenging problems.
According to Forrester Consulting, “Half of design-led companies surveyed by Adobe, say design thinking results in more satisfied and loyal customers; and 41 percent report greater market share as an advantage of having advanced design practices.” Link to source (https://landing.adobe.com/en/na/products/marketing-cloud/350450-forrester-design-led-business.html)
The term, Design Thinking, Human Centric Research and Design Research are confusing for many in the marketing industry, so we avoided using them for a long time. Suddenly, Design Thinking became a buzzword and garnered a lot of attention from the Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, among other prestigious institutions. Design Thinking began making appearances in employee training schedules and company rulebooks.
In simple terms, Design Thinking is a framework that allows people to do just that – think like a designer. Instead of pushing your design style on others and waiting for results, Design Thinking encourages you to focus on the end user (who you are designing for). The process has been so successful in Silicon Valley and the startup ecosystem, that people are now using it to create products and services; redefining how teams work, and how corporations’ function and interact.
If you are not a designer, you may be wondering what is so special about the way designers think. How is their thought process different than that of an engineer, or those taught at an MBA program?
Proper execution of Design Thinking drives better results and causes extraordinary things to happen within a company: human focus, collaboration, noteworthy ideas, experimentation, taking action, and innovation.
Design Thinking succeeds when it finds solutions based on the real needs of real people. In a recent Harvard Business Review article on the evolution of Design Thinking, Jon Kolko, a world-renowned design strategist, educator, and founder of the Austin Center for Design, said:
“When done well, human-centered design enhances the user experience at every touch point and fuels the creation of products and services that deeply resonate with customers. Design is empathic, and thus implicitly drives a more thoughtful, human approach to business.”
Today, many professionals identify as creative problem solvers or design thinkers. Consultancies are starting to sell Design Thinking facilitation and training workshops, and a growing number of companies are seeking training on Human Centric Design, Service Design, and Customer Experience to inspire Design Thinking within their organizations.
I have witnessed time and time again that companies approach Design Thinking with great intention. However, many limit themselves to training leaders, hoping that this alone will result in a more customer centric company. These companies perceive Design Thinking as the sole process that will compel their people to find an innovative solution to a customer problem and may be overlooking the importance of an innovative mindset.
I always stress that a design and creative mindset is not problem-focused, it’s solution-focused and action-oriented. It involves both analysis and imagination, data and insights. Yes, Design Thinking is a powerful and proven framework, and everyone wants to jump into the bandwagon. However, it must be accompanied by a robust innovation mentality, or else people will not be able to take full advantage of it.
One way to start investing in Design Thinking is to hire a professional facilitator like Lateral Strategy, whose expertise will ensure a seamless adoption of the process. A professional Innovation Facilitators we use multiple frameworks including Design Thinking, Lateral Thinking, Creative Problem Solving and Synnectics, and adapt them to our client’s needs and learning style. We can help identify some pitfalls in your team and innovation strategy. Then help you fill in those gaps, and introduce you to new skillsets that will take your company embrace a Design Thinking and Innovation mindset.
Knowing an innovation framework like #DesignThinking or #Agile is a great start, but might not be an advantage to begin innovating. Lateral Strategy can help your team get started on innovation by bridging this knowledge gap. Learn what human centricity means and how this approach can help your business attract more customers!
Part 1 of this series introduced the concept of innovating within a business and explained the benefits of establishing an innovation mindset within company culture. Part 2 was about understanding why is innovation so difficult for some organizations?
For another look at Part 1: Why Innovate? click here.
For Part 2: Why is innovating difficult for some organizations? click here.
For an innovation project to be successful companies must understand the following:
· Innovation is messy, ambiguous, and has many unknowns
· Innovation requires more insights than data to create the value that end consumers need
As discussed in Part 2 of this three-part series, bringing something to life is more complicated than keeping something up and running. By definition, innovation means bringing something new to life. Businesses must understand that the process of building something new is more complicated than that of keeping something running, and therefore the mindset is different. Innovating involves learning on the go. Because there is not enough data, people will be required to make assumptions, test them, and learn from the outcome, whatever that may be. It involves a complete reorientation of the way most companies operate.
Innovation is not crazy, it just requires a different way of thinking that is often overlooked by companies in the search for certainty. Companies must cultivate a culture where people feel comfortable dealing with the unknown because real life questions rarely have black and white answers. However, that doesn’t mean there is no direction. For example, when a CFO asks how much x is going to cost, an innovator may not be able to give an exact figure, but he or she will show the CFO how she would prioritize the budget to experiment and “go ahead” or “fail fast”- the concept of killing an idea fast so as not to consume additional resources.
Innovation is ambiguous, especially when trying to arrive at a life changing disruptive concept. It involves making decisions under a scenario of uncertainty where data might not be readily available for necessary future assumptions. Employees tend to feel safer within the expected (and controlled) environment most companies create. At one end of the spectrum, organizations love numbers. They quantify everything and measured results with KPI’s. At the other end, they expect people to seek growth by gaining new understanding and re-inventing the future. Doesn’t that sound illogical?
That is why the starting point to innovate should always be nurturing an environment for innovation to flourish in your workplace. Doing things differently requires a lot of elements, such as learning to take risks, and navigating uncertainty. Mitigating failure by starting small increases the organization’s confidence before rolling out a big innovation project. It is also essential to gain support from potential naysayers.
Once the organization is less burdened by status quo thinking, start with a simple project that will allow collaborators to explore and make decisions under a more ‘relaxed scenario’.
Innovation does not need to be a moonshot
Organizations (and employees) love big ideas for various reasons. Firstly, big ideas are perceived to drive greater results and if successful, have a larger impact on revenue. Secondly, most organizations incentivize competition over collaboration, which means that coming up with the bigger, more ambitious idea is perceived as more valuable. Thus, creating something truly innovative will feel much more rewarding than going for the low-hanging fruit.
Nevertheless, innovation can be a big idea that tweaks a low hanging fruit. Quick wins with minimal investment are a way to gain results and boost creative confidence before rolling out for the moonshot
Yet, it is important to know that quick wins are not the main drivers for innovation, and constantly chasing low-hanging fruits will not make you an innovator. It is a great starting point but innovation truly happens when people challenge assumptions and dream bigger. One of my favorite quotes puts it succinctly: “It’s easier to tame down a wild idea than it is to invigorate a weak one”.- Alex Osborne.
Innovation is fun and exciting. It employs a sense of discovery as people seek different perspectives to ideate solutions that solve concrete problems before finally reaching the new, unique idea.
Believe you can get there. You might not know how, but you can get there.