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Apr
26
Rick Boersma

Do you think companies are more concerned with product innovation than enterprise innovation? Why? Does the economy have anything to do with it?

When I was asked this question by an editor recently, this is my response...

I’ll be provocative here and say that companies should be more interested in product innovation then enterprise innovation because of the numbers associated with breakthrough products. Truly superior new products have 4-5 times the success rate, market share and rated profit of “me too” new products.

Having said this, the reality is that few companies are willing to dedicate the resources necessary to ensure breakthrough innovation on either the product or enterprise side. Most innovation in most organizations is incremental.

Most enterprise innovation efforts are focused on the maintenance or mild improvement of the status quo. More often then not it’s focused on incremental cost-savings. In fact, it’s questionable whether it should even be called innovation - it’s really problem-solving.

Does the economy have anything to do with it? Absolutely. Under pressure companies are risk-adverse. Rather then making bold-bets they focus on maintenance. The irony of course is that while they do this, their competition may pass them by. The low-risk strategy in the short-term is high-risk in the long-term.

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Rick Boersma

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