We care less about the language or definitions you use for innovation. We care a lot about the uncertainties you face and how you choose to address them. We know this is critical to your success by testing our own ideas about innovation through applied academic research and our experiences working in and with companies for over 15 years. In fact, while we know there will always be technical and market uncertainties, the ones we care about most are the resource and organization ones. These are the ones that stop or ‘incrementalize’ your innovation opportunities and get in the way of your success.
In companies, the words risk and uncertainty are most often used interchangeably and yet, they are very different. With risk, the possible outcomes are known. A probability of occurrence can be assigned to each one. Investments are hedged accordingly to minimize risk. Whereas with uncertainty (and ambiguity), the possible outcomes are not known, and therefore, assigning a likelihood of occurrence cannot yet be done. The only way to manage projects is through iterative learning to learn in increments then decide, learn more, and decide again to reduce uncertainty.
Why is making this distinction so important? Because innovation is ALL about uncertainty. When the uncertainty is low, then we are in the world of product development and risk management. Before that, when the uncertainty is high, we are in the world of innovation and uncertainty management.
As your partner in implementation, we have the expertise for engineering your success by learning how to effectively orchestrate innovation and reduce your business uncertainties.