Disrupting Competitive Threats to the Business
This interview with Kevin Perlmutter was originally published by Innovation Enterprise prior to Kevin’s presentation at the Chief Innovation Officer Summit.
IE: What do you see as the biggest innovation challenges facing large organizations?
Kevin: I believe that the biggest innovation challenge facing organizations is to fearlessly develop ways to disrupt their own core business. While many will attempt to grow their business by focusing on expanding offerings, the big winners long-term will be those who operate with a healthy dose of unease that their core may not sustain a highly competitive environment. Big bets on ideas that will one day replace today’s core business, will ultimately be rewarded.
IE: What are the key elements of a successful innovation strategy?
Kevin: At the Chief Innovation Officer Summit, I’ll share Innovation Inspiration from my personal playbook. Here are 3 of the ideas I’ll share:
Respect the Culture
Nothing can be more powerful for an innovation leader than respecting the culture and people of the company - their ideas, passions and superpowers. In the quest for innovation, start by seeking inspiration from within. Be the leader who can listen to people, bring additional perspective and reframe suggestions into big innovation opportunities.
New Tools and New Skills on Every Job
Innovation must be wired into the workflow of the company. Innovation is not an initiative or a department that sits outside the core business. Everyone should be contributing new ideas, skills and solutions to every job or project. And it’s important to have ways to share and scale these ideas so that they can be replicated and improved so that progressive evolution permeates the whole company.
Dream Big and Act Now
It’s important that innovation efforts are guided by a grand vision for how your company sees itself and its contribution to the world. This vision should guide current core business efforts, and also provide guidance for the seemingly unachievable opportunities that you’ll go after.
IE: Is there such thing as being ready for disruption and what can incumbents do to avoid it?
Kevin: Yes, I believe that everyone should be ready for disruption. So much so, that disruption should be assumed. No need to panic the whole company with doom and gloom talk, but it’s the innovation person’s job to recognize the competitive threats to the business. People in innovation roles should be on the front lines of anticipating the decline in demand for core services, and driving creation of what’s next… with a sense of urgency.
IE: How has the use of digital and data technologies impacted the innovation process?
Kevin: It goes without saying that digital technologies are changing human behavior at a rapid pace, and simultaneously, forever changing industries, one by one. The impact on innovation is that we need to be anticipating new business opportunities, often in advance of the technology that will make them possible. We must either plan based on an assumption of when a new technology will be available for use and recognize that others will also be waiting for that moment, or decide to create an exclusive new technology solution to fuel a business opportunity.
IE: What can our audience expect to take away from your presentation?
Kevin: I have no musical talent, and joined Man Made Music after it had already been a very successful business for 15+ years. I’m basically a music-industry outsider in a company that was doing just fine without me. Since joining, my perspective has helped Man Made Music broaden its capabilities, develop proprietary services and grow in unexpected ways. At the summit, I’m going to share Innovation Inspiration - my personal playbook for driving innovation to grow our company and to help us extend our leadership position - that others can apply to their own work.