Two of the words most used in the business environment today are innovation and strategy. We have commented so much about them that when a business leader is looking for something different says: I want something innovative, or something more strategic. They have been discussed so much that we have come to debate which is more important than the other or which must be the one that prevails today.
Innovation and strategy are no substitutes for each other. Successful companies locally and globally devote resources to both.
Innovation is the process by which ideas are generated to promote changes in the company by delineating new offers, services, and products from unique ideas to meet today’s consumer needs, to compete, or to create new industries and business models. Innovation, as well as strategy, is not a new concept, has been around us since the beginning of time and is becoming increasingly relevant with the increase in competition and technology.
But what is a great idea if it is not executed? What if it is executed erroneously?
A great idea without proper execution can be very costly for a company. Moreover, how many ideas have you had that have been left in a drawer without being carried out?
In a study of 392 local companies in Puerto Rico, we learned that over 75% of companies have started some type of innovation program or strategic plan to promote change in their company and it was never implemented. The main reasons for which there is no continuity are,
- Lack of knowledge of the team on how to carry out the execution
- Lack of time or commitment of team members
- Very aggressive ideas that lack focus
- Lack of necessary resources
- Lack of processes
- Lack of communication with the team responsible for implementation.
The strategic development process is a constant process that works in the short, medium and long term so that innovative ideas can be carried out within the available resources, successfully and in a realistic time. The strategy is the point where innovation meets execution and becomes real results.
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To be competitive today, companies need to work on both. Without the strategy, there is no direction and without innovation, relevance is lost. For an integrated effort, we recommend you,
- Be clear who your client is and stay in line with your needs
- Establish a team within your organization that dedicates time to the process of innovation and constant experimentation
- Test your ideas in the shortest possible time and move on to the next idea until you find a unique offer
- Integrate your team or strategic consultant into the equation early in decision making,
- Together define what it takes to be successful,
- Where, how and when it will be carried out
- What processes, resources, and tools are necessary to achieve consistent results
- Assign a strategic leader within the organization to lead the efforts and make decisions with your client in mind and for the benefit of your organization
While the strategy is still one of the most used words in business, it is seen more as a value distinction and not as an integrated process that is necessary all year for both the implementation of new projects and for the sustainability and growth of the business.
To establish a good strategy requires a coherent and logical process to select one group of options versus the other. A good strategy must adapt to the needs of the moment to achieve the vision and purpose of the business, adapting as many times as necessary to the benefit of the company, be clear and consider in detail the greatest number of variables possible for the operational success of the company.
Innovation, on the other hand, has to do with possibility and experimentation. The sum of both in their correct doses forms to progress. It is above all the failure and success of the innovation process an important part of the future success of the strategy and the company.