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Understand What Innovation is and How It can Help your Business Strategy

Innovation has become a way of developing an organizational strategy that can give an advantage to businesses like yours. This is why many of the companies that intend to stay on the know and differentiate themselves from the others pursue innovation strategies. In this article we aim to understand innovation in an organization and give you ideas to implement it in your business.

Innovation is the implementation of a series of activities with the purpose of continuously making changes to what a company has established, thus introducing a new perspective or solution that adds value. Business innovation as a competitive advantage requires a continuous process and not simple isolated projects.

It is important to understand that is not a synonym for invention, that is, it is not based solely on creativity since it requires a constant process, rooted in business strategy. In other words, innovation is to give value through solutions that are relevant to the client and different from the alternatives they have in the market.

 

Doblin’s Framework for Innovation

Doblin is a company that for years has been dedicated to consulting and accompanying other organizations in their innovation processes and implementation of creative projects. During their projects they have gathered a lot of experience and information that allowed them to create a framework for the implementation of innovation as the basis of the companies’ strategy.

They reckon that organizations tend to focus their innovation processes on the development of new products different from those offered in the market that generate additional value for customers. But creating these new products is not the only way to innovate: this framework allows organizations to identify 10 different typologies of innovation that can help them establish a strategy for success, which can be grouped into three large clusters:

  • Configuration.  Related to profit model, network, structure, and process.
  • Offering. Product performance and product systems as the center of the innovative process.
  • Experience. Related to service, channels, the brand itself, and consumer engagement.
what innovation is: Doblin's approach

Illustration by Doblin

How to develop innovation in your company?

As we have already discussed, innovation requires constant planning, development and ideation within a company. The objective of an innovative company must be to anticipate the market, in order to offer a differential value to its customers. In this sense, innovation may be part of a business strategy when the organization achieves processes that stimulate this culture.

There are various project management and agility methodologies that allow organizations to generate a work climate focused on innovation. In other articles we have already talked about Project Management and Design Thinking, for example. These work methodologies allow companies to focus on innovation processes, not only for products or services, but also those related to any of the instances proposed by Doblin.

An example can be seen in the next illustration, but we have to understand that each company will have its own procedure and preferences when implementing it. It’s key to understand that it is an iterative process. As we go through the different stages, we will need to be guided by a specific problem. This is the most important instance since if we are not sure that we are attacking the real problem, we will not be able to generate the necessary value.

what innovation is: innovation process

The constant process of business innovation requires identifying the activities that add value, focusing on different specific business problems, designing action plans to solve them, and often support your plan with the generation of minimum viable products. Finally, it is essential to constantly monitor and measure results in order to learn from the process and optimize it in the future.

At Huenei we adapt our workflow to the innovation process because we consider it a good opportunity to offer our clients something more than an excellent finished job: the possibility of introducing them to the culture and strategy of innovation. You can review our Turnkey Projects, Dedicated Teams and Staff Augmentation services to learn more about our work process.

Let’s quickly review the steps of the Design Thinking process below, which you can deepen in our recent article. You will see that the process is very similar to the process that we just talked about. In essence, the Design Thinking methodology is based on an innovation process focused on a particular problem.

Understand What Design Thinking Is - Process

Once this process is started and running, using the methodology that best suits your organization, the company will have a specific innovation action to develop. But it is important that this iterative work approach is continuous in order to implement innovation at the core of your organization’s strategy. Some useful tools to incorporate into the day-to-day life of your organization if you want to incorporate innovative processes are the User Story Mapping, the Minimum Viable Product and the Value Stream Mapping.