Companies who successfully craft an innovation culture and strategy realize increased results, experiencing 10% revenue growth per year in the middle market, according to the National Center for the Middle Market – often by using innovation to accelerate business improvement. This entails executing a disciplined process of developing and implementing new ideas that create value. Innovation can improve an inefficient or out-of-date business model, service, system, or process. Compounding the challenge in developing new competitive capabilities is the need for speed.
Consider the example of a retailer whose customers have vastly different purchasing experiences across its various channels. How much greater revenue can the company realize by bringing a solution to market six months earlier? What about the manufacturing company whose CFO and operating heads are using out-of-date forecasts causing increased costs and product shortages?
Business improvement is accelerated through continuous innovation, and truly innovative companies recognize that innovation is a continuous and collaborative process of adaptation. These companies have leaped beyond the ad-hoc to a systematic and repeatable process of business creativity and results. In the pursuit of innovation, they continuously accelerate performance by increasing organizational agility, efficiency, and coordination through cultural and strategic adoption.
Agility refers to an organization’s ability to react to changing business conditions. There are a number of measures growth companies can take to enhance their agility. Examples include:
- Improving the customer experience by increasing the speed of customer-facing innovation
- Leveraging cloud elasticity for data and analytics — partners, devices, sales, supplies, customer profiles
- Being able to rapidly scale in emerging markets and integrate acquisitions
Efficiency speaks to an organization’s ability to execute at maximum productivity and optimal expenditure. Examples include:
- Improving forecasting, planning, and analysis to spur better business decisions
- Significantly reducing infrastructure needs and over-provisioning to meet demand
- Reducing the cost of an ERP system implementation
- Deploying IoT to reduce operating expenses through sensor-based pre-emptive MRO
Coordination reflects the ability of an organization to build a unified, cohesive, and connected growth platform across business units and integrated with business strategy. A well-designed innovation system can prevent different parts of an organization from pursuing conflicting priorities and ending up with a mash of competing best practices. Examples include:
- Harmonizing innovation and corporate strategy to gain alignment in R&D, alliance development, corporate venture capital, and product launch arms
- Connecting disparate ideas and perspectives around common priorities to spur service creation and delivery operations
- Using the front-line input to re-design customer engagement platforms with frictionless purchasing capabilities to increase spend and spend frequency
Companies driven to make every process a little better are incrementally adding value. Improvements in one area typically spur improvements in other areas, and in this way, value aggregates and accelerates.
CohnReznick’s unique, state-of-the-art Innovation Lab helps clients navigate a disrupted digital landscape and transform business models for future growth. The Lab makes it possible to co-create with clients in a dynamic, iterative way. Whether you’re looking to create better customer experiences, design more efficient operating processes, generate new revenue streams, or explore new business models, the Innovation Lab can help you get to market faster and adjust more nimbly to a rapidly changing digital environment. Arrange a private tour and begin building a foundation for an innovation ecosystem.
For more information, please contact Paul Gulbin, managing director, CohnReznick Advisory Group and Digital and Innovation Services group leader, at 203-399-1916 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the CohnReznick Innovation Lab.