Innovating When Opportunity Knocks

To quote the renowned philosopher Rita Coolidge, “Too often, the opportunity knocks, but by the time you push back the chain, push back the bolt, unhook the two locks and shut off the burglar alarm, it’s too late.”

The truth is, when opportunity knocks, time is of the essence! Are innovation and timeliness good bedfellows? Answer: Yes! In fact, where you are in the scheme of things, today's realities, the flow of technology, culture, business, design, these are key components to understanding how to innovate in real time.

At the end of the day, being an innovator is all about solutions. OK, OK, it’s about a lot more than that. It’s also about timing, effectiveness, intellect and using the right blend of technology and strategy to address a specific problem space. Your customers, your clients, your leadership, they approach you for solutions. Their campaigns aren’t working, there’s too much friction in the system, the competition clearly has a leg up on them, they can't envision the future. Bottom line, they need a new technology solution and they need it quickly. Can you help them? Of course you can. Here are four things they’re looking for:

  1. Get Moving: spin up a team at the point of opportunity
  2. Deliver Effectively: execute with precision and speed
  3. Simply Innovate: connect thought leadership with emerging technology
  4. Use the Right Technology: integrate existing and emerging technology stacks

Here’s an organizational idea to address this. Create an Innovation Team (the ITeam) in your organization with the following core spheres of competence.

Each sphere of competence addresses the following questions.

Team Cloud: How do you create an organizational blueprint that allows you to spin up a team to handle a new client/customer/partner/leader or technology quickly and effectively? When opportunity knocks and a new customer is eager and ready to go but timing is key, how do you spin up a team that can effectively and quickly and credibly win and deliver on that business opportunity? What is the blueprint or playbook?

Effective Delivery: How do you promote a simple delivery process that provides enough versatility and efficiency to “get in, do the job, get out” with quickness and precision? How do you build a culture of high performance delivery that embraces no-nonsense productivity? How do you brand and market the process and make it consumable and compelling? How do you get widespread adoption within your organization?

Simple Innovation: How do you sponsor innovation that turns into money-making technology in a cost-effective way? How do you build an innovation machine that makes bets and wins frequently enough to justify trust? How do you investigate the technology landscape, identify problem spaces, integrate new technology with proven systems to connect ground-breaking solutions to clients or customers willing to pay for them?

Technology Enablement: How do you mainstream successful emerging technology solution execution from the team to the organization? How do you build up sufficient expertise in multiple engineering and business arenas to enable thought leadership and true paradigm shifting results? How do you brand, sponsor, motivate and infuse leveraging the integration of new technology development with existing technologies and clients or customers?

Your organization may have, probably does have, all the right skills to deliver on these opportunities. Except, perhaps, the readiness and the will to do so when the opportunity presents itself. To be ready means putting that Innovation Team, the “ITeam”, in place before opportunity comes a’knockin!

Related: Discovering the Future Gets You There Earlier