I have long been an advocate for companies to develop an innovation strategy that fits well into their overall corporate strategy. I think this is a good way for aligning innovation efforts with corporate direction, but I must admit that I have some difficulties finding good examples of such strategies. The best one I know of is almost 5 years old – the Innovation Intent by Grundfos.
Another development on innovation strategies in general (and on my own perspectives on the topic) is Telefonica and their lack of an innovation strategy. They simply believe that we need more execution in innovation. It’s tough to argue with this one.
While doing some more research on the topic, I got to read an article by McKinsey, Battle-test Your Innovation Strategy, in which the authors share some good examples on how leading companies use war games to better focus on the competition and get the right strategies in place.
I like this approach and I think it can help companies develop better innovation strategies in times with a fast pace of change and the need for being competitively unpredictable – or having to fight such competitors.
It is true that strategy has a long-term ring to it, but this is changing as decisions on the products/service level, the portfolio/platform level or the go-to-market level need to be taken much faster today. Here, games in which you try out various scenarios can help your company better prepare for the expected – or perhaps even more so for the un-expected – competitive moves.
The article shares some good examples on how a consumer-electronics company, a high tech company within B2B and a financial services firm worked with games in relation to their innovation strategies. It is definitely worth a read: Battle-test Your Innovation Strategy