Today’s Business Climate
Modern organisations of today drive the existing business model at scale. Strategy development is designed in the boardroom, translated by middle management and executed by the workforce, with an emphasis on analysis, stability and control. The system is literally designed to discourage change and renewal. Instead, employees are encouraged to stick with the plan. Stay the course. Keep implementing.
Furthermore, accessing information has become easier than ever for businesses. The internet has rendered information ‘free’ and has created the possibility of peer-2-peer interaction. Customer feedback is much easier to obtain and a focus on creating a fast, testable hypothesis can change a product direction in an instant, saving both time and money. Even so, winning in a fast moving world is a challenge for most corporate organizations. Not only are threats coming at companies from unpredictable directions, but windows of opportunities are opening and closing faster than ever.
Trial & Error = The New ‘Planning’
At Innoleaps and Startupbootcamp, we think there’s another way to drive change within an organization – a way that is fast, energetic, effective and uses 60% to 80% less time and money. We believe trial and error is a better option than focusing on pure strategic planning. Design and lean startup thinking ensures the process of trial and error correction happens before, not after, implementation. That process is critical today when research shows only 10% of new product launches succeed.
While a planner may think he already knows the answers, a searcher admits he doesn’t know the answers in advance. Planners trust outside experts. Searchers emphasize prototyped solutions. Where strategic plans are based on a presumption of knowledge, searching is based on a presumption of ignorance. Most organizations have a mix of planners, searchers, and everything in between. But the reality is that the resources devoted to plans and planning vastly exceed those for hypothesis and experimentation. This becomes a very expensive endeavor when only a very small percentage of product launches go well.
The Athlon Case Study – An Example
Athlon, one of the leading providers of car leasing and fleet management in Europe, came to Innoleaps with a challenge. Read on (here) to discover how Athlon, by going through the Innoleaps Innovation Sprint & Corporate Accelerator, utilised this new way of working to receive investment from their new product proposal, and eventually spun off a new business (within Athlon) that offers flexibility to employee car leases!
Always Pull Together ‘Thinking’ & ‘Doing’
When considering bringing an innovation initiative to your organization, keep in mind the goal is to bring new ways of thinking into the business planning process – to pull together thinking and doing. Experimentation and trial and error will play a major role in strategy development and the teams who are working closely with your customers will have the most to offer in terms of direct feedback and customer insights.