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Calculated innovation: Post-recession payoff?
Categories: Innovation

Fortune Brainstorm Tech blog: innovation doesn’t have to be risky. Excerpts below. Full post at

I want to know: Are you focusing on innovation or survival?

“Many companies remain shell-shocked from the past 18 months of economic disaster. As such, innovation – despite its potential rewards – is not exactly in fashion right now.

Though gurus like Jim Collins and others extol the virtues of using the downturn to capitalize on market opportunities or a competitor’s weakness, companies today are more likely to take a wait-and-see approach to innovation: “Look for the quick bucks and the low-hanging fruit,” you might say to your management team.

But wait a minute: why not invest in innovation? And I’m not talking about focus groups and customer feedback surveys and Friday afternoon brainstorming sessions.

Economic indicators suggest that we are slowly pulling out of this global economic downturn. Despite the uncertainties ahead, this is the optimal time to think about innovation in a different light: what new groundbreaking product or service would truly resonate with your customers? It’s probably something they can’t articulate themselves. But it’s worthwhile to take the time to discern what motivates your customers and how you could meet a need they don’t even realize they have. In our work with clients, we call this calculated innovation.”

Posted by Kathy Sandler on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:01 AM

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