<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

How to Build Innovation Through Strategic Planning

Dec. 22, 2020 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Strategic Planning

At this point, not a lot can be predicted about how businesses will fare in 2021. But one thing’s for sure—innovation, the ability to come up with new products, upgrades, and other breakthroughs, will be critically important. That’s why companies should strive to incorporate the whole idea of advancement into their planning process now.

Forward-thinking companies understand that success grows out of having what the Harvard Business Review calls an “innovation system.” Essentially, this means “a coherent set of interdependent processes and structures that dictates how the company searches for novel problems and solutions, synthesizes ideas into a business concept and product designs, and selects which projects get funded.”

Without a systematic approach, HBR adds, that “induces customers to pay more, saves them money or provides some larger societal benefit … [the plan] is not creating value.”

To maximize eventual success, experts contend that change initiatives should be integrated into a company’s strategic plan. Objectives around innovation should go hand-in-glove with a company’s plan, in order to avoid the dreaded “silo effect” where different departments—lacking a broader context—simply go their own ways.

How can you incorporate innovation into your strategic planning?

Start with a comprehensive knowledge of your customers.

A business that closely follows the ever-changing needs of customers is better-positioned for pushing change efforts than others without that in-depth knowledge. As you undertake planning for 2021 and beyond, it’s essential to focus intensely on what you know about customers preferences. If a gap in knowledge exists, make every effort to close it and pursue goals with the idea of always adding value.

Compile data from internal and external sources.

In addition to knowing your customer base inside and out, it’s a good idea to reach out to other sources for added information to fill out your strategic goals. Consider these action steps:

  • Conduct a survey of department managers, soliciting ideas for change.
  • Invite vendors to “pitch in” with concepts that drive fundamental change.
  • Enlist the support of third-party advisors and other industry experts.

Simply put, the more thoroughly you grasp the market you operate in, the clearer your innovation goals can be articulated in your strategic plan.

Want additional insight? Read 4 Step Guide to Strategic Planning now to learn more

DOWNLOAD

Focus on your unique value proposition.

Customer value is the guidepost for your innovation efforts. Look closely at the initiatives you have in mind and determine if they result in “creating value that either saves your customers money and time or makes them willing to pay more for your offering,” notes Viima, an innovative management software firm. Other key objectives include making your product “perform better or [become] more convenient to use,” as well as being “more durable and affordable compared to the previous product” and to similar products on the market.

Carve out time to think more innovation and strategic planning.

Enlisting the efforts of others to weigh in on innovative thinking is great, but it’s likely that no one can match your own, hard-earned knowledge of the industry in which you operate. The key is finding the precious time needed to step away from day-to-day operations and think hard about what you want the future to look like.

One way to achieve this goal is by joining a business advisory board like TAB. The chief purpose of this type of peer leadership group is giving CEOs and business owners the space in which to contemplate what the future holds and then making plans to adapt in ways that accelerate growth.

As we roll into 2021, the familiar mantra is never timelier than now: The only constant is change. To learn more and better prepare yourself for the new year, download our free TAB white paper, “What’s Your Excuse for Not Having a Strategic Plan?”

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

5 Tips for Hosting a Virtual Conference
Feb. 23, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The business landscape has undergone seismic changes since the beginning of the pandemic. Workplace environments are being re-evaluated, with potentially huge implications around the corner. Another...
Tips on Using Artificial Intelligence to Boost Productivity and Profitability
Feb. 16, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
For years now, large-scale businesses have been employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help drive productivity and high performance. This same technological advantage is available to small...
14 Ways Business Leaders Can Maintain a Positive Mindset During Stressful Times
Feb. 12, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
To be successful, you need to have a positive mindset. But how do you keep your spirits up when you are a whole year into a pandemic?  COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we live and work....
3 Tips on Vetting Your Most Promising Job Candidates
Feb. 4, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
It would be nice to think that every applicant to a job opening at your business is always telling the truth in their resumes, during their interviews, and throughout the hiring process....
3 Tips for Rethinking Your Business Model
Feb. 2, 2021 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
One of the important lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught many business owners is that business agility is a key component to running a successful business. Business owners are challenged more...
8 Ways to Keep Your Employees Accountable in a Virtual Environment
Jan. 29, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Remote work is the new normal. In fact, remote work was gaining ground even before the pandemic hit, and with the start of 2021, many IT companies have permanently taken this route. However, there...
How to Measure the Success of Your Team
Jan. 26, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Having an engaged and high-performing team should be a top priority for every small business. A talented individual is always a big asset, but when you put several such individuals, there’s no limit...
Attract New Talent to Your Team in 2021
Jan. 19, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Like all other facets of society, the business world has undergone seismic changes in the past year. However, one operational element—the recruitment and hiring of quality talent—remains unchanged....
The Difference Between a Strategic Plan and a Business Plan
Jan. 14, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Every business needs a strategic plan. Every business needs a business plan. It’s knowing precisely what each plan entails and when that plan can be of most use that makes the difference between...
Closing Techniques that Help Build Sales
Jan. 12, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Salespeople all agree about the importance of “ABC” (Always Be Closing), but there’s considerable diversity of opinion on how to go about it. The best salespeople understand that working towards a...