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4 ways to manage innovation within your organization

World of Digits / Explore


Is innovation a buzz word or a real activity?
While some of you are sick and tired of hearing and reading about it, some others know how important it is to invest in innovation. Indeed, despite the fact that this one can be perceived as a buzzword, the outcomes are numerous and as a company, it would be a pity not to take advantage of it.

In this article we will answer some questions you probably ask when it comes to innovating

– What does exactly mean this concept?
– Where and how to start your new project?
– How to make sure your project is both, aligned with your business and meets your customers’ expectations?

Quick recap

Let’s first start with a simple and short definition from the Oxford Dictionary. 
Innovation (in something)  
the introduction of new things, ideas, or ways of doing something.  

Innovation is not only about launching new ideas

It is good to remember that innovation is not necessarily related to invention. It can refer to something new or also to a change made to an existing product or idea. Indeed, sometimes, you also work on innovation projects to challenge and to improve an idea that has already been implemented for a while. Most of the time, it is not about bringing something brand-new on the market; it is rather about working on improvements. In this case, this makes you not to take things for granted and to foster iteration. Innovation is a good way to guarantee your offer is evolving and adapting to the fast-changing market.

The importance of innovation

Innovation brings significant benefits and is one of the required topics to achieve success in any business. For those who got it, fostering innovation within your organization allows you to stay relevant in the competitive market, to ensure better productivity, to take new opportunities and many more. In short, this enables you to stand out from competition and to adapt to your customers’ needs and expectations.

There are four ways organizations can innovate

In light of the above, innovation is not strictly about launching something new. Most of the time, it is about bringing improvements to an existing offer or converting something to another way of using it. 
In total, there are four ways you can consider when you are eager to innovate within your company.

1. Incremental innovation

When you work on incremental innovation projects, you decide to bring gradual, continuous improvements on existing products and services.

Here, it’s about product or service innovation. You innovate in what you do.

Volkswagen did it well with its Golf model that never stopped to evolve since its first launch in 1974. However only improvements have been done, we call that innovation as well.

Golf Volkswagen – 1974
Golf Volkswagen – 2021

2. Disruptive Innovation

In this kind of innovation, the technology or business model aims to disrupt the existing market with something new. It allows you to democratise a product or a service thanks to different promises such as the simplicity or the cheaper price. 

Here, it’s about the process innovation, you innovate in how you do things.

2 quite good examples of disruptive innovation: 
AIRBNB that offered a new kind of accommodation on the market. 
Spotify that democratized access to music streaming legally.

3. Sustaining Innovation

A significant improvement in a product that aims to sustain its position in an existing market. It increases the lifetime and the value of a product. The ambition here is to import a product from another sector within your business. You think outside the box by diverting something of its function first.

It’s about the paradigm, business model innovation. You innovate in how you make money.

Dyson have been developing a “no bag” vaccuum cleaner. The technology comes from the sawmilling industry.
Decathlon offered scuba mask to serve as a covid-19 mask by using 3D printing technology

4. Radical Innovation

A technological breakthrough that transforms industries and often opens a new market. This creates new needs for consumers. It’s about the process innovation, you innovate in how you do things. This is basically the innovation as many of you consider it.

The iPhone is a good example. Rather than adding a few new features to an existing phone, Apple have been launching a new dimension to the phone era thanks the the applications market

The 4 types of innovation

Where to start when it comes to innovating? 

The idea of innovation comes when your main goal is about solving a problem. The first thing you need to ask yourself is therefore: does my idea solve a problem? This is an important question you need to take into account because once you are able to tackle an issue, you create an impact, and you bring value to your audience. When you clearly know the pain point you want to solve then, you need to figure out how it will bring value to your customers, and if they will like it. Besides, you also need to find out whether you will be able to develop it.

To do so, at World of Digits, we have set up the Sweetspot track. A program that allows companies to get 3 main validations before developing their idea: the desirability, the feasibility and the viability of the project. Indeed, dealing with uncertainty remains essential to ensure you are innovating in the right way and you are not wasting your time (and money) instead.

This track allows you to get those validations thanks to different workshops that challenge the potential of your ideas based on different criteria. At the end, the vision is clear, and you know what the next steps are to make your project real.

Innovation as a real activity

You have just read it. Innovation is a no-brainer when it comes to staying relevant in this fast-changing world. But innovation is not only about making up new things. It can also be about improvements and iterrations. The main thing you need to keep in mind is: before investing a lot of time and money, it is important to know exactly what problem you want to solve. It remains also essential to test the waters with your audience to confirm the desirability of your idea. Finally, being aligned with your business strategy and resources is also required if you want to ensure the viability and the feasibility of your project. In total, it makes three validations which are better to get before going further in the innovation project.

At World of Digits, we can support you through your innovation process. We help you first define the issue you are about to solve. Then, we guide you through your project to ensure you get the 3 key validations. At the end, this allows you to work with certainties rather than assumptions.

So, are you ready to innovate🤩?


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