It always happens. In tough times, there is a tendency to retreat
and take on a defensive posture. Survivalist thinking takes over as
uncertainty in the business climate grows. But with the worst of times
also come the best opportunities. Now is not the time to shrink
investments in the future. Quite the contrary, now is the time for
innovation. Here are five reasons to innovate now!
More of the same isn’t the same
As revenue sources are squeezed, companies must improve margin to
help balance the revenue and expense engines of the company. In the
past, modest cost reductions of five percent were seen as good, and
such reductions were not difficult to achieve. But today’s climate
demands more. Many companies are looking for ways to reduce costs but
25-35%. Reduction in cost at this scale is non-trivial and requires
innovative approaches for success.
Doing more with less
An unfortunate reality of contracting economies is the reduction in
work force experienced at many companies. Yet while the staff may be
reduced, the demands for value delivery are not reduced. There are
still competitive pressures; there is still a need to drive revenue and
increase market share; customers are still pushing for new value. This
all means that enterprises need to be much more effective and increase
the innovation output per capita to meet the needs of the business.
Continued regulatory pressure
Another source of unwanted pressure on companies is regulation.
These requirements rarely diminish at a convenient time. There is one
bright note here though. These days, compliance can be turned into a
competitive advantage. As companies embrace social responsibility,
they are discovering that it can be a boon to both the top and bottom
line. Integrating eco-innovation into your strategic plan can plant
the seeds for new value creation.
Voids left by failed enterprises
The wreckage of companies that have not been nimble and innovative
enough to make it through these times can be seen all around us. But,
each company that runs aground leaves behind in its wake rich
opportunities for companies that are willing to invest in innovation.
An unserved customer community represents an opportunity to meet a
need. If your portfolio includes a capability that could be redeployed
to serve that need, you have a clear path to creating a new revenue
source through delivery of high-value innovation.
The pendulum effect
No one effectively anticipates the recession. Companies react after
the fact. This leads to overcompensation driven by the uncertainty.
But during this period of contraction, latent demand is building. The
result is always the same. Many companies are unprepared to capitalize
on the recovery swing because they have stripped down their capacity to
levels that are inadequate to service the opportunity. Those companies
that have anticipated this emerge the winners. Now is the time to be
thinking not just about how to navigate the turbulent waters of the
recession but also where you want your company to be once the waters
calm. Start investing in tomorrow today or you will be yesterday’s