In every organization there exists untapped potential. What are some of the ways that organizations can use strategic innovation to identify new and unmet needs, and to convert those needs into new sources of value?
Old Markets, New Services
Increasing market share is a very labour intensive approach that delivers diminishing returns. An overlooked approach to creating new value is through new services that address unmet needs in existing markets. In every transaction, there exists an ideal way of doing things, especially in B2B services, where many players and many variables create complexity. In this complexity lies opportunity.
Through a comprehensive understanding of how service users behave, you can begin to identify new opportunities that your organization is well positioned to capitalize on. Don't allow your traditional service offering to constrain you - let your broader organizational purpose and knowledge of your markets guide investments in new services and experiences.
Your Brand as a Platform
Your higher organizational purpose is the launchpad from which you can create anew value that is unrelated to your primary offering. These innovations can serve existing or new markets.
A now famous group of companies who exemplify this is Virgin. Virgin Group started out as a student magazine, and has since expanded to travel, health, entertainment, sports, and hospitality. At the core of this expansion, however, is an unwavering commitment to experience. Their mission “be different by being better” guides all of their endeavours, regardless of the industry they operate in.
Virgin understood that to grow and succeed as a service-based organization, they would need to focus on crafting an unique and memorable service experience, and they are now one of the most recognizable and respected brands in the world.
The Why and Who of You
Before you can think about platform-based strategy, or any innovation, you need to know exactly who you are and what you stand for. This applies to every organization, but especially to service-based organizations, where the experiences they produce make up a very large part of their brand. Identifying your north star will help you to stand out on an increasingly crowded and noisy global stage.
Similarly, avoid offering services that contradict your core mission, even if you’ve identified potentially lucrative opportunities within new or existing markets. Doing so will only damage your brand's promise. Always test new innovation ideas against your core purpose, and ask if they serve to strengthen your purpose, not diminish or dilute it.
Flexibility in how you apply your mission to the scope of your services is essential to growth. We live in an ever-evolving world, and you need to be able to adapt to changing conditions, whether economic, social, environmental, or political. Keep your purpose high-level, and your execution close to the ground. When looking to create new value, sometimes the best solutions are often right in front of us.