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What is innovation all about?

According to Harvard economist Stefan Thomke, it’s all about the four commandments. Firstly, ye shall test. Easier said than done, because this involves patience and dedication. Fundamental experimentation, continued testing, collecting new data, both online and offline, is necessary in order to innovate. Secondly, ye shall plan flexibly. Sticking to the original product plan is outdated. The myth of planning: in product development it’s all about continuing to test and that you remain flexible in terms of your starting points. Strive to be lean and flexible as opposed to large-scale. Thirdly, ye shall perform tricks. Create the ‘wow factor’: hide matters from the consumer as a magician. As a company, you can achieve this by coming up with an unexpected solution that ‘wows’ the customer without burdening the customer with unnecessary matters that reduce the experience. Fourthly, ye shall offer customers a toolkit. Give the customer tools to innovate in order to help them experiment efficiently.

We live in an era in which people no longer read instructions. Product developers need to respond to this. People like to work intuitively without losing efficiency.

Innovation means ‘something new’ and it means ‘value’. This could include products, services, processes or technology. It could be a new channel to find customers. Or a new business model. As long as it adds value. Innovation also has gradations. There are breakthroughs, but most innovations are small steps in a process. I therefore challenge you to take the next step! Dare to look at other matters. When you are successful, it means you are temporarily following the right strategy. See yourself as continuously standing at a crossroads and discover the risks and opportunities before deciding which route to take. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you need help with this. I will be happy to assist.