10 Business Challenges in which Innovation is the Answer

10 Business Challenges in which Innovation is the AnswerBusiness-as-usual in organizations present a series of business challenges faced on both short and long terms where innovation is paramount. There are ten identified business challenges in which innovation is the answer.

1. How do we empathize with our customers and profit from it?

Turn customer insights into user-centered innovation
Businesses have understood that to be profitable, they need to provide value offerings that meet the needs of their customers. Therefore identifying unarticulated or unmet needs, and latent desires of their target customers by learning about them and uncovering behavioural insights. These insights are used to improve or develop new value offerings to satisfy their needs.

2. How do we evaluate which ideas to develop further?

Validate ideas through design process
Individuals inside organizations typically have ideas generated whether they are conceptualized in-house or through open innovation platform. These ideas need to be validated by target customers before they can be developed further into practical innovation. The method of validating is through iterative prototyping used in design process.

3. How do we commercialize our technology invention?

Monetize the interaction between user and technology
Businesses that invent new technology can either sell their technology for other business to uncover its usage, or identify usages on themselves and profit from it. Commercializing technology into the market requires research on how users behave and interact with technology. This informs technology usage by turning technological invention into innovation. How users use technology enables features and experiences to be created through innovation.

4. How do we predict the uncertain future?

Anticipate emerging trends and create the future
When businesses are not able to foresee and keep up with emerging trends, in many cases, this usually has a negative impact to their bottom line. From technology disruption to changing social values, their ability to sustain competitive advantage declines, if not disrupted. In order to be relevant again, they need to identify emerging trends, develop scenarios, and create innovation from scenarios based on trends.

5. How do we develop solutions to realize our visions and get around tradeoffs?

Create innovation roadmap and orchestrate strategy
CEOs have a vision that needs to be realized. In some cases, they may need to redefine or change its future direction on what business they are in and which market they should be doing business at. Therefore, converting a vision into reality is achieved by creating innovation roadmap that is designed to scale for growth through iterative strategic planning.

6. How do we deliver our brand promise to customers?

Turn brand promise into experiential innovation
Brand promises are communicated constantly with the expectation that their promises are delivered. For brands to turn their brand vision and deliver their promises to their customers, experience innovation is required to keep their promises through the implementation of value offerings delivered in a compelling experience. Promises made are re-articulated to ensure promises delivered are communicated.

7. How do we execute our business strategy?

Create implementation plan through innovation strategy
Every company has a top-down business strategy that needs to be achieved over a period of time. Innovation that performs well in the market is partly due the result of effective strategy, and vice versa innovation strategy executes what business strategy aims to achieve.

8. How do we scale our business for growth?

Prototype to identify sustainable business models around value offerings
Small and large companies will constantly forced to find new business models due to changing landscapes. This is usually because existing business models are not suitable or scalable for growth proven by metrics. This means companies need to pivot and requires the reinvention of business model that are effective and sustainable. A sustainable business model is scalable and viable for businesses, and desirable by customers.

9. How do we mitigate risks?

Diversify and filling gaps in portfolio
Every market category has opportunity gaps that can be filled, expand into, or create new categories to boosts revenue. Whether it is through the introduction of low-cost model to different colours or materials, these require the identification of opportunities for innovation and create new value offerings.

10. How do we increase profitability and grow sustainably?

Expand existing and enter new markets through innovation
For businesses to enter adjacent or different market, they need to provide new products and services for the specific market. This situation calls for the need of discovery of customer insights and growth potential, then an innovation strategy and the creation of innovation.

These are the ten challenges that businesses typically face in which innovation is the answer. Regardless at which point of entry challenges are being solved, this will result in changing the status quo of how businesses create and orchestrate values.

image credit: bigstockphoto.com

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Why Design Thinking Will FailJeffrey Tjendra is a designer, researcher, strategist, consultant and entrepreneur passionate in innovation, design, and business. He has worked at commercial, academic and government organizations in Singapore Polytechnic, NBDA Asia, Ambient Experience Lab at OCAD University. He has experience working with various industries including healthcare, education, retail, and energy. Jeffrey is currently based in Toronto, Canada, traveling between Singapore and Malaysia.

Jeffrey Tjendra




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No Comments

  1. Rukshan Jayaratna on October 24, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Good list !

    Can you also share the real cases? I’m sure that a many companies would have used innovation to sneak to new markets; but what is it based on?

    Thanks !

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