Mastering innovation

In an increasingly hypercompetitive environment with new external competitors, changing customer needs and shorter product life cycles, innovation takes the top spot on many companies’ agenda. We are dedicated to help management unleash innovation potential on all levels: incremental and disruptive, old school and digital.

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Innovation increasingly becomes a top priority to secure competitiveness and survival.

  • A hypercompetitive environment is marked by intense and rapid changes in which flexible, aggressive innovators move into markets rapidly, thereby further shrinking product life cycles.
  • New competitors with new business models and disruptive innovations erode the advantages of large and established players. Digitization reduces cost for market entry and levels the playing field – to the detriment of incumbents.
  • Digitization provides more opportunities than ever to innovate products, services and business models. Its new platforms reduce the cost for market entry and level the playing field – to the detriment of incumbents.

 

“In the Silicon Valley they say: 'Uber yourself before you get Kodak’ed!' On which side of disruption do you want to be?”

 

Companies must go ahead, unleash their innovation potential and seize opportunities to stay on top of their markets.

core beliefs

Innovation requires creativity and the freedom to fail. But that doesn’t mean that it is an unstructured process. Let us share our core beliefs on how to make innovation happen.

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  • Always start with the customer!
    Innovation only creates value if it solves true customer problems. Detecting and defining customer needs and deducting appropriate customer-centric solutions are therefore at the core of successful innovations.
  • Everything is possible but not everything is reasonable!
    Today’s technological developments enable (almost) limitless possibilities. Thus, innovators are facing the new challenge of spotting the right projects within an ocean of opportunities. Stringent prioritization and pivoting according to the business needs are therefore key tasks of the innovation journey
  • Culture outplays efficiency!
    Innovation needs a different environment to flourish than efficiency-driven business tasks. Innovative cultures embrace failure as part of learning, agile processes and flexible workplaces and innovation leadership is key to provide this environment.
  • It‘s no magic!
    Yeas, innovation is about creativity and ideation but you don‘t have to be Leonardo da Vinci to innovate business. Proven tools and methodologies will guide you through a successful innovation process.
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How to

Successful innovation needs a home – we call it the “capsule environment”. There, a context must be created to foster the innovation you are striving for.

Where innovation comes to roost
To foster innovation means first to protect creativity from distractions and obstructions of daily operational business. Therefore, management needs to provide a protected context where ideas can be discussed and developed. For developing incremental improvement in close contact to daily business, this will look different than for developing a completely new and disruptive business idea that should be completely separated from existing business structures, rules and competition.

A structured process and a proven skillset help with ideation and implementation of ideas. None of this is rocket science, but it is a markedly different work than most R&D staff are used to – regarding both mindset, interaction with colleagues, and methods.

Management needs to steer the process with a clear link between strategy and innovation portfolio management. Successful innovators don’t aim for a zoo of competing ad-hoc efforts but manage for “total innovation” with a well balanced mix of incremental, enrichment and disruptive innovation projects.

Reference-Projects

Typical 3con Contributions

  1. Development and implementation of an intuitive decision support tool for value-based steering of backward integrated value chains.
  2. Development of a digital roadmap for the R&D unit of a global agrochemicals company.
  3. Development of a customer-centric digital roadmap covering all functions and disciplines along the end-to-end value chain of a flavor & fragrance supplier.
  4. Product and business model design for new digital offerings of an industrial services company. Support of cultural change towards an innovation-driven company.
  5. New product development, from ideation to market launch, to address new target groups for an European sports association.
  6. Introduction of agile project management to rescue high-profile R&D project to develop a reactor concept needed for a large capex project.
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