Merging Strategy and Innovation
Last week, McKinsey published an interesting report on innovation. The premise: “We analyzed...
When things “go back to normal” in a few months, we expect there to be some permanent changes to industries and how people work. Innovation leaders approached Hypershift with a challenge:
“How can we use the disruption caused by the pandemic to make our organizations permanently more agile and better able to respond quickly to market changes?”
So we innovated on our own product offering. As background, Hypershift helps companies to implement a scalable process for validating new business ideas quickly to determine which will generate revenue and growth and, just as important, which won’t.
But, back to our customer’s question. To answer this question, we introduced the Hypershift Business Model Innovation Sprint. This is a 4-day repeatable process that generates weekly insights into the innovation shifts that can meaningfully impact business results. The process evaluates the generation of immediate value from concepts that help organizations: keep customers, increase revenue generated from existing customers, improve profit margins, acquire new customers, and/or resegment customers with more targeted offerings.
These Business Model Innovation Sprints guide participants through our process digitally, so that sprint participants can engage from around the world in an efficient way that generates weekly insights and opportunities that can be presented to management. These tools allow for collaboration in virtual spaces, testing of hypotheses with customers through digital interaction, and online team review and archiving the work.
Here is an example schedule:
Day 1: Strategic Alignment and Begin Contacting Customers
What customer segments are you targeting and what strategic hypotheses are you testing around changes you could make to your business models? Give each team a lane in the shared whiteboard space and start brainstorming. When the brainstorming is done, figure out what customers you need to talk to and start lining up appointments that day.
Days 2-3: Customer Interview and Business Model Iterations
Reach out directly to customers. We've found that many are actually more available to talk and give feedback on their needs, challenges and potential solutions. Don't forget to ask:
* How have things changed for them - inside the organization, with customers and the market, and any other changes, pressures, and incentives they need to respond to
* What could you offer or adjust to deal with those immediate impacts and how could that adjust over the next year?
* When should you get back in touch to show them some options?
Summarize these learnings on the whiteboard and work through Value Delivery and Value Capture change opportunities.
Day 4: Summarize Results and Present To Management
Based on what they have learned, does each team see there is a real possibility your company could make these changes and offer a product or business model change? If not, scratch that idea off the list. If so, it's an opportunity for that team to do a 2nd Sprint to further refine the opportunity.
Have each team put together a short "Lessons Learned" about their strategy, customer segments, changing customer needs and whether the opportunity was a Go or No Go. Present *all* these learnings to management, not just the Gos. Understanding what isn't likely to work and why is just as important to refining your strategy and what looks promising.
Finally, make sure you have a virtual place for promising opportunities to continue through the Agile Business Model Innovation process and make it all the way to the market.
Over the years we've honed how we run innovation programs so they can run 100% online - from ideation all the way through up and running businesses with customers and revenue.
Don’t just take our word for it! Here is an article (authored by Alex Osterwalder) on how Hypershift built a fully online global innovation ecosystem for Bosch with over 200 internal startups: https://hbr.org/2019/11/why-your-organization-needs-an-innovation-ecosystem
This could be an opportunity to make your entire business model innovation process more agile. By that, we mean not only that teams can do innovation work online, but that you are building a more rigorous, more measurable, more scalable process that can span from ideas to creating real businesses - one that your leaders see delivering impact quickly and in a data-driven way.
If you'd like to get started on your own innovation Sprint, reach out to us at email@example.com.
Andre Marquis is the CEO of Hypershift Systems and Founder of the Innovation Acceleration Group at the at the University of California Berkeley. He was, most recently, Executive Director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. He and his teams have built a scalable, global business process that delivers fundable startups and breakthrough product and service innovations for corporations by combining hypothesis-driven business model testing methods (acceleration) with hands-on training (education). This Hypershift methodology has scaled to support rigorously testing hundreds of business model innovations per year and delivered breakthrough results to >1,200 teams. Real innovation has a high failure rate and requires testing lots of opportunities (scale) and testing them rigorously (intensity). This process delivers all four: education+acceleration+scale+intensity.