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Slow Innovation: PROs, CONs and Tips

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Disruptive Innovation
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Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

Slow Innovation: PROs, CONs and Tips

When we talk about innovation, we often associate it with disruptive innovation efforts / large-scale processes that change an organization's business model or products quite radically. But, there is a slower form of innovation that needs attention as well. Slow innovation emphasizes slow changes, for example in cultural patterns that will slowly transform organizations or sectors but that don't have a big immediate impact.
Slow innovation projects can be just as valuable as the quick and large-scale ones, in the long run. However, as the benefits are not reaped as quickly, it is sometimes harder to convince boards or key people and funding is harder to get.

ADVANTAGE OF SLOW INNOVATION
So what is the major advantage of slow innovation? According to Ford and Tarditi (2017), it is about prescience. The key is to act patiently and to be committed to an idea or gap in the market that eventually might lead to transformative business endeavours.

DISADVANTAGES OF SLOW INNOVATION
However, naturally there are some important difficulties with slow innovation:
- Because the issues addressed by slow innovation usually do not have a large impact on the organization on the short term, it is hard to get a go from management.
- When the current ways of thinking are not yet causing problems, it is hard to convince management that they might do so eventually.

TIPS in fostering a deeper commitment towards slow innovation:
  1. MANAGING INTERNAL EXPECTATIONS: as already mentioned, it is not so easy to convince people to change the way of thinking while the current ways of thinking are not perceived as troublesome at the very moment. It is therefore important that you clearly and carefully conceptualize your ideas.
  2. CLAIMING WINS: it is easy to be stripped out of success stories when aiming to create internal wins.
  3. INVESTING IN INTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS: this is important especially when investing in slow innovation, as trust need to be created to slowly translate discoveries into innovation.
  4. REALIZING THAT 'SLOW INNOVATION' HAPPENS EXTERNALLY: people outside the organization are less obstructed by corporate priorities. Let people outside discover new cultural patterns and other slow changes, so that you can transform those new findings into the internal slow innovation teams.
  5. SMART BUDGET CONTROLLING
  6. LISTEN AND OBSERVE: keep in mind that those are not equal to hearing and seeing respectively. In order to grasp the slow patterns of change we must be able to see and hear the meaning of talks and behaviour in their cultural context, filtering, synthesizing information and trying to find patterns.
  7. FOSTER SERENPIDITY, RADICALLY: take the time and put energy to find the unexpected; to put teams out of their comfort zones needed to finding new discoveries.
⇒ What are your views on slow innovation?
Source: Ford, S and Tarditi, F.R. (2017) "The Benefits Of Taking a Slower Approach Towards Innovation" HBR

 

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More on Disruptive Innovation:
Summary
Discussion Topics
topic Innovation Strategy: the Three Horizons of Growth (McKinsey)
topic The Jobs to be Done Approach (JTBD) and Disruptive Innovation
topic Disruptive versus Incremental Innovation
topic Disruptive Innovation: Product versus Platform
topic Tips for Innovation Strategy
topic Strategic Options for Old-Technology Firms
topic Diversity of Perspective is Key to Disruptive Innovation
topic List of Disruptive Technologies
topic How can Incumbents (Established Corporates) Respond to Disruptors?
topic How to Develop Disruptive Innovation Skills?
topic Timing is Important to Make an Innovative Idea Disruptive
topic How to Find Innovative Ideas? From Analogous Markets...
topic Three Types of Innovation (Christensen)
topic WHAT is Being Innovated? The 4 Ps of Innovation
topic Is Disruptive Innovation Radical? is it a Breakthrough?
topic Disruptive Innovation: What Causes the Creative Leap?
topic How to Sustain Disruptive Innovation?
topic Leadership Skills / Approaches for Successful Innovation
topic Innovation Ideas in Economic Slowdowns
topic The Hybrid Innovation Approach to Technological Innovation
topic Examples of Disruptive Innovation
topic Ways to Incorporate Disruptive Innovation as Part of the Management Agenda
🔥 The Six Ds of Exponential Technologies (Diamandis)
topic The Word 'Disruptive' in Disruptive Innovation
topic What is Disruptive Innovation Exactly? Definition
topic Comparison Disruptive Innovation versus Blue Ocean Strategy
👀Slow Innovation: PROs, CONs and Tips
topic Disruptive Innovation and Public Sector Organisations
topic Innovation in Developing Countries (Leapfrogging)
topic Is Value Innovation Equal to Disruptive Innovation?
topic Why is Disruptive Innovation Difficult?
topic Is Consumption Needed for Disruptive Innovation?
Special Interest Group

SIG Leader

Do you know a lot about Disruptive Innovation? Become our SIG Leader

Knowledge Center

Disruptive Innovation
Knowledge Center



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