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Here’s the catch…

Here’s the catch…

Innovation seems a simple concept, but according to Mangrove Consulting’s Nick Pye, too many companies are getting it all wrong. Here’s how to ensure you capture the big ideas consistently.

July 1, 2010 3:55 by

Sticking to the shallows: If you always fish in the same waters, the fish get fewer over time and eventually there are none left to catch. You need to be prepared to travel further from the shore to find bigger fish. There is a natural tendency for companies to search for opportunities where the business has traditionally been strong, especially when times are tough. This is indeed a safe strategy that builds on existing capability and experience, but doing so exclusively rarely gets the big fish.

Throwing a line and expecting instant results: You need to know where to fish in order to have a better chance of catching something. Knowing where the fishing banks are before you set off saves time and increases the size of the catch.
Creativity is an important tool in successful innovation, but it is exactly that – a means rather than the end product, an ingredient rather than something done for its own sake. Focused use of creativity yields better results; you need to be clear on what the problems or opportunities are before you apply creativity to solving them or making best use of them.

Innovation, like fishing, will always involve luck, irrespective of the weather. Exactly how much is down to chance depends on how much of a strategic approach is adopted. Developing an innovation strategy needn’t be complicated. It just requires some agreement on the answers to three questions:
• Why are you innovating?
• How much should it deliver?
• Where will you look for the opportunities and ideas?
Nick Pye is a founding partner with Mangrove Consulting in the UK.

Gulf Marketing Review magazine.

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