3 Important Perspectives for Your Innovation Work

3 min read

Innovation is broad and can be used in all areas of your business.

As our article The definitive guide: What is innovation? states: “As long as what we are developing is new and creates value for many people, it is innovation”.

That´s great news! But, so many possibilities for innovation also comes with a backside. It easily becomes confusing, overwhelming, and/or get out of hand (or never even started).

Here are 3 perspectives for you to keep in mind during all your Innovation Work. They will help minimize the guesswork, and potentially eliminate unnecessary wasted time and energy. They loosely build on each other, and together they help create a framework for your innovation.

3 important perspectives to keep in mind during your Innovation Work:

1. "need"
2. "market & business model"
3. "technology"

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The Need-Based Innovation Perspective

Innovation efforts that use The Need-Based Perspective as a foundation are generally the most successful. Booz & Do states that 60 % of the top 10 global innovators are 'need seekers'.

Dave Power at harvard.edu writes that "Customer needs should drive innovation", he also writes that more than one-third of all companies say that “customers are their most crucial innovation partner”.

Actively choosing to start innovation efforts in the need-based innovation perspective and/or shaping your current innovation strategies towards becoming more “needs seeking” is in general a sure way for more successful Innovation Work.

The foundation for the Need-Based Innovation Perspective, as our article “How to drive innovation” explains, is to understand your users and customers, and to keep in mind that this is not always the same persons/actors. Your starting point is to define a relevant target group and start learning about their relevant needs and underlying drivers. And make sure to continually verify that the problem you choose to solve, or the value you try to add, is real and relevant to them.

The Market- & Business Model-Based Innovation Perspective

Other important aspects to your Innovation Work are The Market Model and The Business Model. Without a clear picture of what market your innovation is for, or what business model it requires, success is much harder to reach.

For The Market-Based Perspective it´s important to look into market size and the dynamics of the relevant market. How large of a market share can you take? Who are your competitors and substitutes?

The Business Model-Based Perspective part is of course concerned with finding a viable business model. What type of revenues can you create and what costs will you have? How can you scale the business model, and how will that shape the innovation?

The Technology-Based Innovation Perspective

The Technology-Based Perspective concerns how to realize your innovation technologically.

It´s perspective is not exclusively reserved for products but can equally apply to new kinds of services. Advances in service aspects are often the result from new applications of technical nature. This is clearly illustrated by web-based services such as e-commerce.

Here it´s important to ask questions like: Is it possible to build what you are aiming to create? If yes, how can that be done? If the right technology is available, is it cost effective? Is the technology readily available for the public, and does people know about it/use it? Also, do you have any IP and/or patent protection concerns?

Finally - Make sure to continually ask questions!

It´s important to ask questions during your entire Innovation Process. In every perspective you must continually seek to answer key questions. And here, like in your entire Innovation process, it´s important to invite all the people in your organization in the discussions.
And don´t wait too long to find answers ´cos if they aren´t in you favor much time and energy can potentially be wasted, unnecessarily. In short, the answers you get will help you decide if pausing or stopping ongoing Innovation Work is necessary. Or if changing or altering its course of development is a better option.

In our articles The definitive guide: What is innovation?, The Power of a Diverse Perspective and How to drive Innovation we keep on sharing more relevant perspectives (The Relevance and Buy-in-Perspective and The Risk Perspective) that can help make your own Innovation Work much more successful.

Here you´ll also find other relevant and important topics concerning Innovation. Innovation vs. Operations, Different types of Innovation, and Innovation cannibalize on our business are just a few of the subject discussed.

So, dig into our articles, and please share your thoughts on them - we love to hear what your obstacles and successes are.

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