Organisations tie themselves in knots about whether a focus on innovation will distract from execution. Innovation is the execution challenge for all organisations. The same is no longer good enough. Better takes innovation.
Innovation is not a distraction
Innovation comes in many forms in the modern organisation. Not all innovation is the hard and often uncertain work of taking novel technology and applying it in the organisation.
Innovation can and should include continuous improvements in service delivery, service redesign, new product development, expansion to adjacent markets, changing management approaches, redesign of infrastructure, support and other processes. Led by customer insight and delivering clear strategic value, this innovation is at the heart of the execution of any strategic plan. Every strategy calls for the work to improve and it will take innovations to make that happen.
Organisations need to master the execution of these forms of innovation to build the capabilities to tackle larger challenges like technology or business model innovation. The skills learned executing continuously on small daily challenges build the organisational capability for larger change.
Innovation is the challenge
We operate in an environment where your competitors are looking to be more agile, more responsive to customer need and more effective. Like it or not, their execution focus is building foundational skills for innovation. On top new competitors are eyeing your business with entirely new mindsets & capabilities.
With this competitive environment it is harder to outperform with just a few percentage points of growth and a few percentage points of cost cutting in an otherwise stable business. Organisations need to be responsive and enable all their employees to create customer led change to drive strategic value. Innovation is not an execution challenge off to the side. Innovation is the lifeblood of competitive advantage.
Innovation drives effectiveness. That makes innovation the execution challenge.
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