I just came across an interesting blog post by Stefan Lindegaard, entitled “Five Reasons Why Companies Should Forget About Radical Innovation.”
I’ve never met Mr. Lindegaard. We share a few LinkedIn groups in common, and I’ve come to recognize his name as one who contributes to group discussions with substance and perspective. I understand that he makes his living in the innovation field, which makes his post all the more provocative.
There are quite a few innovation “gurus” these days who are all but waving their arms and shrieking from the rooftops: “Innovate or die!” The reality is that it’s not that simple. Radical innovation is one of many strategic choices. It clearly has its merits and advantages. But, like any strategy, if you’re not going to truly commit to it, you’re probably better off not even getting started. That’s the thrust of Mr. Lindegaard’s post, and I respect his position.
I’ve long advocated a “portfolio” approach when it comes to innovation. This portfolio should include ideas for the short, medium and long-terms, with attendant degrees of executional difficulty and expected return. Depending on your company’s innovation competence and tolerance for risk, you might tilt the portfolio in one direction or another. But trying to force a conservative organization to develop only “blue-sky” ideas is a recipe for failure.
I also share Mr. Lindegaard’s point of view when it comes to branding. While I fully believe in the merits of branding done properly, I also recognize that some companies simply won’t commit. It requires, among other pre-conditions, the right mindset, the right culture, and the right dedication of resources. If those conditions aren’t in place, it’s irresponsible for me to recommend branding as a solution.
There’s an old saying: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Mr. Lindegaard presents its corollary: “Just because you should, doesn’t mean you will.” Thanks, Stefan, for opening the discussion.
About Matthew Fenton: Matthew founded Three Deuce Branding in 1997 with a simple mission: “To help good people build great brands.” He’s a former CMO who repeatedly led underdog brands to dramatically outpace the market, and now he does the same for the clients he serves. Businesses with revenues of seven to ten figures trust Matthew to help them achieve “brand clarity” through core brand strategy and positioning. Matthew is also a highly-rated speaker. Contact Matthew here. He’s based in Chicago.
Copyright 2009 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.