Establishing a sustained practice of innovation can be challenging. There are many areas a company has to perform well in to possess the ability to innovate. A company must explicitly specify what area it plans to innovate within; it needs to be able to formulate a set of goals for the innovation initiative then measure the efforts needed to reach the defined goals. Finally, a company must be able to scale and set a culture of innovation as a practice. According to de Jong, Marston, and Roth who wrote "The eight essentials of innovation", the core of the innovation process, however, is the main ingredient of innovation discovery.

Innovation discovery is the strategic ability to search and identify a differentiated business opportunity in a new market combined with the company's ability to deliver on the new proposition in such a way that the value created is attractively profitable.

For innovation meet his criteria companies needs to:

  1. Find a worthwhile problem;

  2. Have the relationships necessary to create a technology that solves the problem and;

  3. Formulate a business model that empowers it.

  4. Iterative testing, analysis and product tweaking in the coalface of market testing.

Innovation is a company-wide, strategically defined process. Without a measured way of discovering the area's of innovation, a company will struggle to reach new market opportunities effectively.

We love this podcast. Masters of scale is a podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of Linked-in. He interviews entrepreneurs (both social and business) about different aspects of scaling a successful startup.

I have found the discussions, and the way they are packaged, very useful and challenging. In this podcast, Reid interviews Eric Reis, the author of Lean Startup. They highlight a truth that has challenged me many times over the years. The best plans never survive first contact. Big business plans and extensive analysis can be impressive, but they can also just be wrong! As Reid says: stop writing and start testing.

Some of the key takeaways from the discussion:

  • The Lockhead "Skunkworks" was a great early example of iterating quickly and valuing outcomes over process

  • Applying the scientific method to your business development endeavours means thinking deeply about setting up your moves as scientific experiments. Be explicit about what hypotheses you are testing and design your first move to provide as much information as possible.

  • To "pivot" means to use emerging data and experience to change some fundamental part of your endeavour while staying true to the vision. This means that at crucial points in the process of building a startup - or a new business development venture - know when to change your approach if something is not working, while using the learnings already built up.

As Comotion, we often find ourselves in discussions about new business ideas and ventures. Software development needs to take an iterative approach to succeed, particularly when dealing with new ventures. There is a distinct temptation to assume that "if we build it they will come." For this reason, we make sure we operate on agile methodology, which focusses on getting working software out the door as early as possible - so that the learnings can be made as early as possible.

For this reason, we use a combination of low-code technology (in the Mendix Platform), and our own suite of growing products that help financial services companies to innovate. This includes, that help companies include data insights in their workflows and product.

Here's the full episode

#businessdevelopment #entrepreneurship #innovation

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