“I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate.“
People cannot speak of predicting the future. It is not about making a forecast, but about trying to understand the trends, what are the driving forces of change and defining those that seem most important to us. With this, create and explore some possible scenarios, the most likely and relevant.
It is the objective of what we call: scenario planning.
On the other hand, technology advances relentlessly and gives us elements to innovate even altering some market paradigms and society.
Markets are not stable, they are increasingly segmented, and new driving forces emerge that make customers and users increasingly aware and inconsistent. Competition increases and products or services age faster.
Innovation is essential to the strategy of any company and is the way the strategy is executed.
For this, everyone simply can’t now imagine companies, not only the technical ones, but also from the energy, medicine, agriculture, industry, distribution and transport sectors, others, and even education, without thinking about «Innovation».
Therefore, the relationship between strategy and innovation is vital, and the important role that innovation plays in transforming strategic concepts into realities in the market tells us that innovation is today more than a necessity, an urgency. For those who still do not practice it with continuity and success.
As in any process, there are risks:
- There is a danger of groupthink, the tendency for people to agree with others in a peer group without much critical thinking. Usually, these agreements are biased and often have a weak foundation.
- Tunnel vision, looking towards the future in a very partial or narrow way and missing influential elements that are outside the tunnel.
- It is associated with relying on many predictions, rendering carefully prepared plans useless or worse.
- The dispersion. Contrary to the second, but which can indefinitely lengthen the process and tire and bore the participants, without reaching well-founded conclusions.
- Permanently lurking at the level of each participant is to avoid cognitive traps.
It is advisable to prepare a space that allows us to work and discuss the environment, where much of this information can be placed on panels or screens, which helps everyone see the general picture. It’s about being able to interact and connect individual opinions into larger, more meaningful patterns.
After assimilating the trend information, the participants identify and select a couple or three of the big and important problems that have a lot of impact in the future and that is, also quite or very uncertain.
It is significant to explore what would probably go within, some scenarios that we have created and that have certain probabilities of affecting the economy and society in general, also our activity.
- Thinking carefully about the driving forces of change will help us guide research projects towards the areas of activity that probably offer us the greatest opportunities.
- It will help us design a portfolio or innovation portfolio, as adequately as possible, to tune with the new needs of our activity or segment.
- The dialogue will have been very positive if it has promoted a high degree of shared understanding among the participants, and provided a solid guide for the organization to advance in the best direction.
Is this project, innovation, new system or process assimilated or compatible with our degree of organizational maturity?
If this is not the case, we will likely continue to fail in any new attempt, and each failure will be one more obstacle, due to people’s demotivation.
It is important to recognize the stage of maturity the company has, to adapt the type of projects, improvements or implementation of systems that can carry out, or make the effort to progress to the appropriate level of maturity for it.
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