This health crisis, which in a few days has become an economic crisis, acts like an electric shock: we must adapt to a change of paradigm in order to think and act differently!
It is essential to rethink our way of envisioning the future, of consuming and therefore of interacting with our colleagues and our customers ... In addition, being confined for several weeks calls into question, beyond productive time: our vision of innovation and consumption "useful vs gadget '.
While we are being told about global recession, worse than during the great depression of 1919 and that indeed, this translates into a real drop in our consumption and international trade, there may be an overflow of communications around the news and ultimately not enough concrete actions to support our customers get through this difficult time.
In addition, we tend to act on the short term when thishe type of crisis should be an opportunity to arise and rethink its business and innovation strategy to survive in the face of an increasingly uncertain future.
In this replay of webinar that we animated with Use Design, Design consulting agency Digital, you will discover why this period is an excellent opportunity to challenge our way of creating / producing value.
Finally, you will discover in this replay how “resilience” can materialize in your innovation strategy...
#1 – Re-prioritize your innovation projects!
In such critical situations, we need to be resilient and anticipatory in order not to suffer anymore.
A lot of behaviors are already at work in the way we reinvent ourselves! For example, teleworking and management, the automation of tasks, the acceleration of its digital transformation and especially the adaptation of our business models to the context of crisis ...
But this context also calls into question your innovation projects. Do you have to pause them, re-prioritize them, stop them?
It is customary to say that innovation, like marketing, is certainly essential but often seen as a cost for the company… The real question to ask is to know how to adapt to customers, competitors and ultimately a market that does not take a break, but who will react differently… This crisis challenges us on many of our fundamentals: it imposes on us a framework and a way of rethinking the creation of value, with fewer budgets, different tools and working methods… Finally, it poses a context that allows us to reconsider innovation!
The first of the re-prioritization is therefore to imagine these projects within the framework of what this crisis imposes, with the means and teams available: therefore to re-prioritize them and test them faster ... But innovation holds especially Leadership: if you, the manager, the CODIR do not concretely embody change, the desire to change the rules of your market and reposition its post-crisis strategy, your ambitions will lead to little ...
#2 - Pget ahead of your competition!
This period should allow you to get ahead and observe your competitors differently!
Will the art of pivoting or adapting your business be able to materialize in your company?
The current situation provides a framework that allows us to (even more) empathize with our market, because we all live the same… Nevertheless, how can we adapt the flexibility we have in our personal life, to our professional challenges?
The theoretical recommendation would be to say that we must act on the 12 fundamental axes of innovation and not to imagine that it is a question of innovating on just one of them (ex: my shop is closed, I am launching my sale online.). All these fundamental axes of innovation must be adapted: value chain, management methods… but here, in a much faster and more agile way!
Why not carry out a (flash) diagnosis of your innovation strategy, to identify if your corporate strategy is aligned with internal resources, between ideal and reality, what are the inhibitors that slow down your growth and, on the contrary, the axes on which to capitalize to accelerate it ...
Often, we go head-to-head with very technological innovations when it is essential, even in BtoB, to understand the end customer, via receptivity studies for example.
Some examples of companies that are adapting and are ahead of their current competitors:
- Get out of the constraints of your point of sale: Evo Entertainment
- Deliver your service for a home experience: Escape Mail
- A Youtube channel to replace you: Joe wicks
- Review your basket with local products: The SnapBar
- Sell in Kit to give a helping hand to your customers: Shake Shack
- Keep your production line to target useful products: New Balance
#3 - Ccreate more value with less budget!
This crisis which imposes a context of frugality on you : it is an opportunity to seize to gain in agility!
Should a good innovation strategy translate into massive investments in R&D? Not necessarily, given the number of “huge” projects in terms of R&D budgets which, once put on the market, disappoint, either because they arrive too early or too late in relation to market appetite.
Innovation can also be seen as a luxury that we cannot afford. However, frugal innovation ("Les is the new more"), based on agility, speed and affordability is being adopted more and more, even by large groups. Indeed, classic R&D management (based on large R&D budgets, rigid processes, very scientific R&D (based on the TRL scale) and a tax system built to serve this type of management ...) finds its limits in this type of situation that is the innovation in times of crisis.
Finally, open and distributed innovation, different from open innovation as we know it or imagine it is also an opportunity to be seized. The perfect example being the Decathlon diving mask which was adapted by an Italian doctor via a consulting firm and Direct Decathlon which in the end stopped marketing to the general public to offer it to hospitals. It is therefore an example of frugal, open, distributed and united innovation ...
Another example : the consortium set up by Air Liquide, Valeo and PSA who to take a concrete part in this national effort have rethought their business model very quickly to achieve a target.
What if this disruption continues and completely disrupts the way you create value? What if you could take the opportunity to follow your example and do things differently or better than before and ultimately last?
#4 - Sboost the creative confidence of your employees!
Everything is based on the culture and DNA of your company. Agility is not just a method or tools, it is a state of mind. If you as a collaborator are convinced, but your management is not, nothing will work well.
Furthermore, often in business, we are for change, as long as it does not impact our little work habits… How, as a manager, as a business leader, to deal with this and how to attract talents who wish to join a global business project and not simply a “food job”? However, innovation is synonymous with change and to be effective, it must be an integral part of your company's culture, at all levels!
To be innovative, you must already have confidence in the creative capacity of your teams and in the future of your business model..
Each of us can (and must) be creative, have innovative ideas or suggestions to positively challenge the decisions made by operational services.
#5 - UUse Design Thinking to get out of the crisis!
How can design thinking help innovate and get out of the crisis? We have tools to help us think differently and positively. Once we have mastered them, in particular creative thinking and design: it is about understanding how to respond to our clients' issues, identify them, frame them and propose a multitude of adapted solutions that we will then prioritize.
If we want to be even more futuristic, we can go from “how could you…” related to Design Thinking to “what if tomorrow…” related to Design Fiction.
Design thinking is not just a utopian vision of responding to customer needs, it is also how we can continue to create value over time.
With the lever of empathy, Design Thinking will allow you to adapt to the way in which your customers use or not your products and services in the face of a period of crisis. If they can't buy your products anymore, how do you come up with a different approach to keep them loyal to you?
Finally, test, iterate and rethink your business model in a resilient way and don't forget to deliver!
The projects where design thinking is used are often long. In the current situation, it is interesting to reduce these thinking times as much as possible in order to iterate and prototype in a very agile and rapid way. For that, the implementation of a 5-day design sprint is a great solution.