Innovation & growth: it's all about how much you are willing to invest in your change

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Among the missions we get to work on, a lot start from customer journey redesign - an ambition to rethink the overall customer experience and revisit solutions and services proposed along the story, altogether building relevance and competitiveness.

Part of the solution design are incremental changes, small adaptations which will bring more value for the consumer or the company. But the main value that comes out of this are the disruptive opportunities: solutions or services which challenge the past, but have great potential for future growth and a positioning. 

After this exercise, by experience, most companies will start with low hanging fruits & quick "must do" fixes. The disruptive, innovative paths will be part of a separate track which gains a lot of interest from executive committees at the moment of the design.

But what happens to these disruptive tracks afterwards ? 

Often, these disruptive tracks are handed to a  "customer experience manager" or "innovation manager" that will have to fight to build a case for investment, fight to get prioritised in a company roadmap, starting by building an MVP which doesn't challenge too much the existing business. In other words, from a great ambition, a lot often start with poor means, and the hard task to make results (=to prove the case is good) without rocking too much the boat (=please do not disrupt us too much, thanks)

Well I'm sorry but no wonder that most innovation tracks fail. Everything is done to limit impact, success and support the innovative tracks. 

A few weeks ago, Benedict Evans published this blog post "the scale of tech winners" providing insights in terms of revenue, capex, staff and most importantly culture of the GAFA* - and how they build for success. And as far as I can read, nothing here prevents large traditional corporations from doing the same, it' all about deciding what you want and what scale you want.

Main takeaways : 

  • They target for scale - Scale will not only bring them sustainability, but will allow to invest in the right people and projects to grow further without putting the company at stake.

  • They invest in new initiatives bigly - their revenue is used to invest in innovation to obtain further growth and scale. They have multiple paths and options, know not all will succeed but built the scale that will allow to cover the expenses and grow rapidly in case of success

  • They invest in people - They don't hesitate to invest to attract key people altogether giving them the freedom to act and make impact

  • They apply pressure - on themselves and the others. They challenge the status quo, put pressure on competition and don't hesitate to disrupt themselves.

  • They embrace change - they take in challengers, disruptors and make a place for them. They don't buy out disruptive solutions to smother them with old school processes and thinking.

All boils down to their ability to respond to change. 

How ready is your company ? Do you have the plans ? The people ? The processes ? Get in touch with us if you want to discuss this topic further and check how well your company is doing. 


* Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon


About the author

Audrey has been managing digital strategy and digital transformations during several years from within large corporations before creating Belly & Brain.

By creating Belly & Brain, her aim was to design a consultancy firm finally adapted to the needs and reality of business leaders confronted to strong digital challenges - combining consultancy and coaching capabilities able to handle as well marketing and sales strategic questions, as well as change management, organisational & culture challenges needed to actually deliver on the transformation.

Audrey organises regular free meet up sessions with executives to discuss their challenges and give rapid feedback on solutions and options. Learn more about these here