Chuck Frey of InnovationTools and Renee Hopkins Callahan of Innosight have released a report titled Innovation Strategies for the Global Recession. This report is a compilation of insights from many of the foremost practitioners and thought leaders of innovation. You can find the report here.
A few of the themes highlighted in the report are cited below with some brief commentary.
Redouble your focus on customer needs
This is a recurrent theme in product development and innovation. Yet, brilliant execution in this dimension is often elusive. This is because customers are not always able to tell you directly what they need. This is the big challenge to the innovation practitioner. We need to develop the right listening skills to not merely hear what the customer is saying but understand deeply what is the opportunity.
Prune your innovation portfolio
I especially like seeing this theme highlighted because it is something that is often forgotten. Every decision has a time, a place, a context in which it is made. Even a great decision may lose its relevance when the business environment changes the context of meaning. You can create new resources to fuel innovation by jettisoning the deadwood from your portfolio.
Conduct a disruptive threat assessment
This theme has two meanings as I see it. The first is mentioned in the report. Proactively identify new threats and eat your own lunch before someone else does it for you. However, there is another angle to be considered here as well. Many companies make the mistake of hunkering down in tough times to weather the storm. This is especially true of market leaders who may have become complacent and therefore take their edge for granted. This means that there many potential opportunities created as these companies open the door to the industrious disruptor. Could that be you?
There are many other thought provoking viewpoints in the report. Enjoy!