How many ideas should move from selected to implemented?
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Innovation is a complex and difficult process. To increase your odds of success when starting an innovation initiative, there are a number of factors you ought to keep in mind.

Innovation is a complex and difficult process. To increase your odds of success when starting an innovation initiative, there are a number of factors you ought to keep in mind, based upon a thrilling presentation I heard by Dr. Pinar Ozcan at the Barcelona IESE Business School:

  1. Make sure that you are focused on a relatively immature market where traditional players still haven’t become established.
  2. The more ambiguities and absence of policies, the greater the opportunities for innovation. In contrast, highly regulated industries are rarely hotbeds of innovation.
  3. Look for opportunities to contribute to overall market growth – beyond your enterprise.

Once you are established in a growing market, it’s time to look for alliances to help power your growth. “You should never innovate alone,” says Dr. Ozcan. Here are some tips to do this in a low-risk way:

  1. Identify similar-sized companies with complementary strengths that complement that you can partner with.
  2. Or target a “big fish” that has the deep pockets and resources to help trigger greater growth in your market.
  3. If market creation is a social process, you should promote interaction at all levels and become the connector that converts the opportunity into a reality.

Finally, Dr. Ozcan urges innovators to manage the risk of their new ventures:

  • Define a strong stop-loss strategy. Have a plan in place to cut your losses, with clear criteria for when you will pull the plug on your innovation venture, if needed.
  • Always look for the best “not too soon/not too late” moment to join a market. I know, it’s easy to say, but much harder to do.
  • A “big fish” partner can shift from an asset to a liability if it isn’t aggressive enough at pursuing market opportunities.
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