John F. Kennedy once observed that the word “crisis” in Chinese is composed of two characters: one representing danger, the other opportunity. He may not have been entirely correct on the linguistics, but the sentiment is true enough: a crisis presents a choice.
And in some companies we see deprioritization of innovation to concentrate on four things: shoring up their core business, pursuing known opportunity spaces, conserving cash and minimizing risk, and waiting until “there is more clarity.”
At Lanell we believe that, particularly in times of crisis, more urgent actions should be:
- adapting the core to meet shifting customer needs
- identifying and quickly addressing new opportunity areas being created by the changing landscape
- reevaluating the innovation initiative portfolio and ensuring resources are allocated appropriately
- building the foundation for postcrisis growth in order to remain competitive in the recovery period
Many businesses simply cannot operate as they have in the past. What made a company successful historically may no longer be possible during or after the crisis. Customers may struggle to pay. Channels may have radically shifted to accommodate new needs or work around new constraints. A stable regulatory context may have changed, potentially creating opportunities that never existed before. The assumptions that supported years of stable, predictable growth may no longer be valid.
At Lanell we help companies back on the growth trajectory. And to support us, we have developed a simple management tool to secure competitiveness, profitability and reduce costs. The Lanell Infinity Model are build on 7 steps, which should be considered in any the innovation process from generating ideas to the final evaluation. Step 1-4 is in itself an iterative process where cross functional teams must be involved.
- Generate ideas; First step in our development of a business case is brain storming sessions and innovation kaizen. In this process we do not limit ourselves to available analysis, VOC or reports as this potentially will weaken our creative and innovative thinking. Key is covering and balancing implicit and explicit needs and here we believe in a clear and open mind will improve the development of viable business ideas and concepts.
- Analyze market: The different ideas are evaluated and tested and analyses are conducted on the basis of market and competitive situation, forecasting of estimated costs and revene streams. The analysis will in the end support and clarify the viability and rating of the ideas and determine next steps.
- Form concept: After a preliminary analysis of the chosen ideas, the process of shaping the idea into a viable and unique business concept can begin. Value proposition and core values are determined and a preliminary business plan is conducted.
- Refine business plan: Once the concept has been formed, a solid business case is developed and presented. This contains the mission and vision for the concept, objectives as well as a clear strategy that support the viability of the concept. Several iterations may be required to secure the value proposition, the compelling events and the customers willingness to purchase are clear.
- Scope project: based on the business case, the concept is being scoped. This require a detailed implementation plan with milestones and the later launch framework.
- Launch: Many great innovation never materialize their financial opportunity. Launch excellence is a discipline that is much more that marketing and go-to-market strategy: it is the plan that unite the company around the vision and mission of the innovation.
- Evalutate: A part of any launch plan and any innovation process is the focus on continuous improvement. This mean scheduled evaluation and after-action reviews of performance of the critical success factors as well as economic and marketing objectives.
This processes repeats itself as feedback starts new processes – this is why we call it the Lanell Infinity Model™