Actionable Innovation Strategies: How To Thrive In Uncertain Times

Creativity and Innovation

Discover how your business can plan against uncertainty throughout COVID-19. Develop powerful strategies and implement innovative solutions with Studio Zao.

As COVID-19 continues to present new challenges and flip the world of business on its head, finding the best route forward can be tough.

In times of uncertainty, executive leaders must step up to the plate by providing clear, purposeful and actionable guidance for their employees. While it’s easy to get lost in the hysteria of recent events, finding the headspace to evaluate the situation and implement progressive innovation strategies will lift spirits and (hopefully) boost balance sheets.

Join us as we explain what is innovation strategy in business and explore how executive leaders can adopt a forward-thinking approach to navigate their business through stormy seas.

The Impact Of Innovation On Competitive Advantage

As the world continues to adapt to the coronavirus, it’s easy to recoil into survival mode and build a protective guard around your organisation. While this might sound like the safest option, failing to innovate or push your business to try new things can force your business further into decline.

The best route forward is to embrace change and view growing uncertainty as an opportunity to experiment. If you want to remain competitive and separate your business from rivals, you can’t afford to stand still.

There’s No Risk Of Rocking The Boat If The Storm Has Already Hit

When the water gets choppy, your job is to hoist the sails and search for calmer seas through off-the-wall thinking and actionable strategies. Executive leaders who can rally their people to take calculated risks and make the most of a malleable marketplace can warp the status quo and shape their own future.

Don’t let coronavirus knock you down or slow your momentum. If you have any innovative ideas in the pipeline, now is the time to act. Innovation creates new value propositions to entice customers away from competitors and cement loyalty with existing customers.

Those who take the initiative to adapt to uncertainty can stare in the face of adversity and grow stronger than ever.

How Can Innovation Lead To Economic Growth?

As COVID-19 continues to sow the seeds for the next global debt crisis, executive leaders are responsible for finding the best line of attack to maintain healthy balance sheets and promote positive growth.

It’s important to recognise the universal impact of coronavirus across almost all industries. Embedding innovation into your long-term contingency plan can increase the scope for sustainable long-term growth and attract crucial investment, despite the declining economic backdrop.

In times of uncertainty, investors will look for businesses who can demonstrate agility and versatility to adapt to changing demands. Embracing experimentation and innovation will give your business the flexibility to react to new opportunities and ride the wave of the latest trends.

Innovator Experience Design™️

Check out our latest white paper and explore how established organisations can generate consistent and repeatable returns on innovation investment.
Creativity and Innovation

Apple vs. Blackberry

The best way to understand how innovation can promote economic growth is to compare how two very similar companies adapted to a changing marketplace.

If we rewind to 2008, both Apple and Blackberry were dominant forces in the mobile phone market. However, if you compare the two graphs (below), Apple has gone on to experience astronomical growth, while Blackberry is a shadow of its former self. Although it’s difficult to identify exactly why these two companies experienced two very different paths, their different attitudes towards innovation is likely to have played a leading role.

Apple continuously delivered incremental innovations, cutting-edge software developments, and futuristic designs to keep customers engaged. Meanwhile, Blackberry’s stagnated approach and failure to innovate meant their customers were fast to look elsewhere.

creativity and innovation

Corporate Innovation Tools & Strategy Hacks During COVID-19

So, how can senior executives action innovate strategies to find the light at the end of the tunnel?

We like to break down innovation into four discrete categories:

  • Incremental innovation involves increasing the value of your existing technology to enhance user experiences for your customers. Whether it’s improving software features, tweaking designs or fixing errors, incremental innovation is all about improving your product offerings via a series of baby steps.
  • Disruptive innovation involves introducing new technologies and processes to create innovative products/services for your existing market. If you already have a captive audience of loyal customers, disruptive innovation can open doors to additional revenue streams.
  • Architectural innovation involves adapting your existing technologies or processes to fill a gap in a new market. If your business is geared towards economies of scope, entering new markets can be a cost-effective way to diversify your revenue streams.
  • Radical innovation is really exciting stuff. Giving birth to completely new ideas and developing revolutionary technologies can give your business a competitive advantage like no other.

While the ultimate aim is to combine all of the above into your innovation strategy, implementing incremental innovations can help your business stay ahead of the game in these testing times. Instead of trying to move mountains and completely pivoting your business model, incremental innovations provide fast and actionable steps to push your business in the right direction.

As the dust settles, small iterations will give you and your people the confidence to develop disruptive innovations that can blossom into a more integral part of your long-term innovation strategy.