It is a stone cold fact. The clock is ticking.
Your competition is working right now, today, to eat your lunch (and digest it). These are the competitors that you know and there are many that you are not even aware of. Yet.
Your competition is planning, innovating and developing products and services that your customers will find believable, compelling and differentiated. They are not waiting and thinking about it. They are doing it in a conference room near you.
The question is what are you and your team going to do to address these new competitive threats?
How will you survive? How will you grow and defend your market space?
We live in a world of constant innovation. Is there any doubt at all that you must have a continuous flow of ideas and possibilities moving into and through your innovation pipeline?
Consider the following 3 steps for beginning to populate a robust and successful innovation pipeline:
Create innovation targets
Gather the freshest and most relevant research, data and insights about your market, your existing and potential customers and your industry.
Use these insights and data to create 2 innovation targets:
#1. Your Success Criteria (3-5 statements about what your innovations must do, must look like, must measure up to)
#2. Your High Opportunity Areas (5-7 of the most likely places to focus your innovation development)
Nominate Innovation Solutions
Gather together a diverse cross-functional team.
Provide them with the targets of your success criteria and the high opportunity areas that senior management has ratified.
Create a wide variety of possible new product or service concepts against these targets. Immediately have this group tease out which concepts best meet the success criteria.
Select Innovation Finalists
A few days later, let each member of your innovation team independently rank these finalist concepts. Ask each participant to identify their top 5 concepts (that is, which ones best meet the success criteria established)
If you create 100 concepts you can expect to identify about 5-9 strong new ideas for further feasibility evaluation by a sub-team of selected experts.
The innovation pipeline process is a dynamic engine that must be fed and carefully tended.