On June 6th, Bekk Management Consulting joined the innovation agency ?What If! on the World Innovation Forum Fieldtrip to learn how two successful companies make innovation a strategic activity in line with the company’s ambitions for growth. In this post I will share key takeaways from our inspiring conversation with the communications company Avaya.
“Inventions are great, but innovations make success”
Avaya is a global leader in enterprise communications, providing unified communications, customer and networking solutions. They emphasize that companies should actively develop innovations by growing and nurturing inventions until they provide real customer value and are aligned with the business strategy. Avaya defines an invention as proof of the possibility to make a better or more effective service, product or process; while an innovation is an invention with a market value that the company can capitalize on.
“Work innovation into people’s daily work environment”
The key to successful business is to match what you can offer as a company or a service provider with people’s needs and wants. Avaya was highly technology-driven before they realized a decade ago that working in their customer’s actual work environment was key to innovation. In order to reduce the gap between expectations from the customers and the company’s capabilities they decided to actively work with gaining insight about their customers.
Key questions for the innovation development journey
- Is it relevant? – Does it answer to important customer needs?
- Can it be validated? – Have you tested it? Does it fit in the customer’s lifestyle?
- What is the customer experience? – How will the customers interact with the product or service?
- How are you going to personalize it? – Is the innovation flexible enough? (learn from early adopters)
- What will it look like at scale? – How will you take the innovation from prototype to a real product with packaging and distribution? What resources will this require?
According to Avaya, these questions will help you test, adjust and reshape the future of your value proposition. Also remember to make sure your company acquires relevant insights from the market in order to get new ideas and create new and better solutions for your customers. The innovation worth investing in might originate from a different source of inspiration than initially expected!
Do you agree with the keypoints from Avaya, or is your approach different?
Sources: Personal notes, fieldtrip material from ?What If! and www.avaya.com