In troubled economic times, it can seem that innovation should be the first thing to go. This is a mistake in my view – in tough times organizations need to embrace innovation and look even more closely at their product offerings and how they are addressing the market. What sold in yesterday’s market may not be what tomorrow’s market or even today’s market will buy. This has been borne out by what has happened at Fauchon, one of the landmarks in Paris’ shopping mecca. Have a look at this article from the New York Times. It says it all! “Amid a constantly shifting market at home and abroad, Fauchon’s rebranding campaign has helped it remain relevant and return to profitability. Its recipe for success is to remain ahead of its customers and continue to surprise them.”.
The real opportunity for Innovation, especially Open Innovation, is to make business-reinvention decisions by tapping into the organization’s ecosystem. Sitting in a closed boardroom, working out which product lines to cut or which division to close is old school – the smart companies will tap into their Open Innovation network to help provide these answers. This is the power of Open Innovation – bringing different lenses to a problem from inside and outside the organization to ensure that the decisions that are taken around re-invention are the best ones.
The New York Times has published a series of short articles by some luminaries on the value of Innovation in tough economic times. I found them interesting. Worth a read.