Developing an innovation strategy

There are many different types of innovation, and the type of innovation will be determined by the innovation strategy. The strategy will be influenced by the stage your company has reached, where it is heading, and the desired outcome of the innovation.

Determine your desired outcome

Your innovation strategy should reflect what you want to achieve from the innovation process, for example:

  • Develop a new product – you may see an opportunity for a radical change in the type of products offered on the market.
  • Protect market share – in a dynamic global environment, continuous innovation is required in many instances just to maintain market share.
  • Expand market share – for example, offering existing products in a different market.
  • Sell or licence to another organisation – you may be looking at an exit strategy, once the innovation is developed you can sell or licence the innovation.
  • Retain more staff – a commitment to innovation can motivate and retain skilled staff by providing a challenging and creative environment.
  • Improve operational efficiency – you may wish to reduce costs through streamlining your operations.
  • Increased recognition in the marketplace – you may wish to increase your profile in the marketplace through an innovative marketing strategy.

The type of innovation and the level of risk you attribute to that innovation will vary depending on whether you are seeking to expand your business or maintain your current revenue or profit. Your company may pursue multiple outcomes and therefore will require multiple strategies.

Once you have determined your intended outcome and how this fits within your company, think about the type of innovation strategy that will best achieve your outcome.