Why breakthrough innovation is not the only way 3 questions to ask yourself

09/05/17 Innovation

Innovation is a buzz word. Everyone does it or wants to do it. And yes, in this fast-paced environment, it is almost a necessity. At the same time, (almost) every organization believes they need to think of breakthrough ideas to stay alive. Are those big transformations really required?

In my experience, when you look at servicing, organizations aren’t always ready to kick-start the next best thing. It’s better to focus on the baseline first, and go from there. 


Ask yourself three subsequent questions

  • Do I service my customers in a desired and cost efficient way?
    • Not yet? Start transforming (and digitalizing) those contact moments and underlying processes
    • Yes? Continue
  • Am I offering my customers a distinctive experience at those moments that matter most?
    • No? Define new and improved servicing concepts that create a ‘wow’ effect and respond to the customers’ needs
    • Yes? Go on
  • Am I creating a new form of value that fully responds to my customer’s desires?
    • Not really? Think of a bold, new value proposition and business model that combines the functionality of several different products all into one
    • Yes? Hero!

As you may notice, the first two questions closely relate to what Clayton Christensen calls ‘efficient’ innovation and ’sustaining’ innovation. The third is known as a ‘breakthrough’ (not a disruption btw).

Of course, a breakthrough innovation can be an objective even though the basics aren’t set. For this, I advise you to launch a separate business unit with its own resources before jumping into the dark.

My takeaway: allocate your resources to the right level of your organization’s most pressing pain points, and transform your way up. Along the way, build the right governance and culture to support these improvements.

Which level is your organization at? How are you innovating? 


#breakthrough innovation #disruptive innovation #innovation