26/09/2016

Corporate Strategic Innovation

Stay ahead of the tide or get washed away.

Most startup companies fail. Usually it is because the business model did not work. It probably was not even tested before launch.
For a variety of reasons, companies that succeed and grow often also reach a point years later where they start to fail. However often the failure is harder to spot, is drawn out over a longer time period because the company has a signigicant balance sheet to draw on, or is blamed on other factors than the root cause.

Let us take a common example. When a company is making money, whether through desire to maximise profit, superstition or laziness, it is tempting to keep the handle turning and not change anything – afterall it is making money. Then cost optimisation is brought in to maximise profits. Then functions and activities that appear as simple costs, or entire non-profit centres are removed. The year on year improvement in profit makes this a self sustaining effect.
Eventually sales drop, but are masked by cost reductions. Sales continue to drop and are blamed on market conditions. Sales continue to drop and the sales and marketing directors and managers are replaced.
What has happened is that the company became complacent and stopped innovating. It became comfortable selling the same things it had always sold and did not pay attention to the customer, the changing market or its competition. The very heart of the company that made it come to life from nothing stopped beating and the body started to slowly decay.

Corporate strategic innovation aims to reverse this process no matter how far down the road it has gone. It is far more wide ranging and far reaching than change management. Its aim is not merely to make the company financials look better the following year, but to change the course of the company away from slow decline and return it to the fully working machine it once was, innovating any and every aspect of the business to reinvigorate it for the current day and the future.