Thinking about what an Innovation Consultancy does, we’ve managed to break it down across the three dimensions we help our Clients a.k.a. The Past, The Future and The Present.
The Past. We help companies reconnect with their “inner entrepreneur”, since every company at one time was based on a single idea that did offer unique and different value – as a product, service and/or business model. Over time, every company becomes more focused on keeping the existing business afloat and profitable and usually efforts for the creation of new, different and/or disruptive things are put aside. So our first job is to remind companies that they were once innovators and that they have to be innovators again in order to grow. We assist them by helping the executive teams create a strategic vision and establishing specific goals and communicate them both internally and externally about the importance and relevance of innovation for each company.
The Future. We remind people about the future, since all new ideas will launch in a future that hasn’t arrived yet. Having a “future orientation” is important because companies need to identify the needs and wants of their customers and address them before their competitors do, otherwise they are simply a follower. In the daily life of a company, the vast majority of employees are worried about the next quarterly results, since that’s how employees are compensated and that’s what the financial markets dictate. Very few employees in a company are worried about a 3 – 5 year horizon, but strategic vision and the ability to execute on it, is what will either make or break a company in the long run. Companies, therefore need to discover today what’s likely to happen in the future and how that future will affect their products, services, customers and markets and develop a clear focus on creating new products and services that will allow them to take advantage of the future to come, as an innovator and not a follower.
The Present. Creating a process for identifying, assessing, testing and developing these new ideas into marketable products, services and business models, since, the most important company process, the one that will create future valuable new products and services is usually non-existent. Company employees tend to forget that the responsibility of themselves is not only to operate efficiently but also to create new things as well. And in most cases, employees with good ideas simply give up after a while simply frustrated by fact that there appears to be no way to present a good new idea inside the company and / or move it to some sort of commercialization, since companies are organized in silos and any idea that doesn’t seem to align with these silos is pushed aside. We assist companies to find the great ideas that are “out there”, because companies should not expect from innovation consultants to “give you” ideas, unless they have decided to outsource their strategic thinking as a company. Finally, we help companies think about the contradictions between innovation and the “day job”, assisting them in addressing the rationale of evaluation, recognition and compensation as tied to employee engagement with innovation work. Most companies prefer to reward actual, measurable results, therefore we encourage our clients to balance both requirements and expectations between commitment to innovation and individual employee return, by reminding companies about their core values, strategic vision and goals and their commitment to execution.
Want to learn more on how-to-do, drop us an email and we will be happy to share our knowledge and insights with you!
Christos Lytras – Managing Partner