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Questions to assess – is it time to Innovate for Impact ?

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…. For many enterprises it’s time to step on the gas to meaningfully improve business outcomes from innovation. Candid answers to the following questions will help assess if this applies to your organization.

In the way of context, it’s recognized enterprises have been innovating for a long time – and is part of the reason how they became large. However, it’s an ongoing challenge to keep raising the bar!

This is poignant at this time since the nature of innovation and creating wealth going forward (ie: Digital, intellectual value add) is different than in the past (analog, basic physical goods). It’s a new game. Because of this, there is a need for enterprises to develop new competencies, evolve their culture and business model, plus be able to win in an environment with shorter time frames to create and commercialize new capabilities. It’s also critically important to successfully compete against others from anywhere in the world – both in your industry and technology based companies having the ability to invoke a paradigm shift, change buyer behavior, set new expectations, etc.

Evidence of this being a huge challenge is that less than 5 % of enterprises are doing Disruptive / H3 innovation. This is a major factor to many established Fortune 500 enterprises going down or dropping off the list !
To buck this trend, those in enterprises need to take a hard look at what they’re really doing to meaningfully increase relevance and revenue going forward. To help assess this in your organization, ask yourself –

A.   Is more than 30 % of our sales this year coming from new products / services created in the last 3 years?

B.   Will this be the case on a sustainable basis each year in the future?

C.   Since overall revenue growth of < 5 % is not a strategy, what are we doing to do more?

D.   With paradigm shifts in many industries an increasing occurrence, do we want to invoke one or be the victim of one?

E.   If we started the company today, would we be doing what we’re doing? What would we do different?

F.   If we were a technology based company, what would we do to successfully enter our space? Enter a new space?

G.   Do we meaningful invest in new initiatives outside our core?

H.   Are we learning new skills and competencies to have more options to create wealth and better manage change?

I.   Are we collaborating effectively with outsiders in the innovation ecosystem who do Disruptive Innovation ?

J.   How do we know we’re as good as we think we are at Innovation, monetizing value creation, and managing the changing nature of risk? How is this validated?

K.   Do we ask insightful questions and spend a meaningful amount of time on things outside of what we are familiar with?

L.   Given the changing business landscape and importance of delivering a great User experience, what is the proof we are adapting and developing the necessary look ahead?

M.   Is innovation in the enterprise a “targeted or an “iterative” process?

N.   How good are we as “Entrepreneurs”? How are we encouraging more entrepreneurship? How is this validated?

O.   Do we have the mindset to “Innovate for Impact “? How is this validated?

P.   Are people rewarded for “Learnings” or penalized for “Failures”?

Q.   How are people compensated for “Innovation”?

R.   etc.

For additional information on developing the mindset to win going forward with innovation meaningfully contributing to improving outcomes, see  the innovation articles and blog at as well as other innovation material.

In closing, since it’s about your future and accurate answers to these questions are essential for success, please review internally and with those in the innovation ecosystem knowledgeable about disruptive innovation.

May 11, 2020                         CAIL  Innovation commentary                      

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