The world is changing fast – and not just as a result of COVID-19. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has forced businesses to adapt rapidly but the need to embrace innovation, to take risks, and to disrupt existing business models has been a feature of the modern business world for a number of years now.

Still, many corporations, particularly larger ones, struggle to adopt the innovation-first mindset required for ongoing success, despite there being no shortage of concerning examples for them to draw from. In 2007, Nokia’s share of the smartphone market stood at 49.4%. In six years, it had dwindled to just 3%. Its story is not an isolated one. In less than 60 years, 88% of the companies that made up the Fortune 500 in 1955 were gone; replaced by more agile competitors, casualties of “creative destruction.”

Ironically, these businesses are often victims of their own success. As many organizations grow, they lose the ability to innovate that helped make them successful in the first place. They become more risk-averse and wedded to existing business models – after all, that’s what made them successful in the first place (in addition, they are organized to maintain this status quo).  In many ways, big business’ inability to innovate is deliberate. Ironically, good managers fail because they do everything right.

If you look at the life-cycle of a business, a start-up is created with innovation at its heart – its raison d'être is to come up with a new solution to an existing market problem. For mature businesses, the goal is very different: profitability. Everything else takes a backseat – including innovation.

But this in-built inertia no longer works in a rapidly changing world populated by agile competitors that stand ready to whittle away at your market share. The modern business needs to be ambidextrous, combining both scale and speed – but most are not managing to achieve these dual aims.

Fortunately, most of the challenges that are preventing organizations from delivering long-term, sustainable growth that leverages innovation, not only iteration, are internal. They are also surmountable.

Innoleaps is an international team of Entrepreneurs, Designers, Growth Hackers and Business Builders that has the expertise to re-invent your business to ensure it places innovation and the customer at the heart of everything it does. Since 2013 we have co-launched and scaled more than 200 corporate ventures, partnering with some of the world’s best-known consumer-facing brands.

We are driven by our four core values: Entrepreneurship, Passion, Knowledge Building, and Embracing Change and steered by our proven methodology, outlined in the book ‘The 10x Growth Machine: How Companies Can Innovate, Scale and Win’, written by our Senior Partner Misha de Sterke.
We have identified six key pillars that are essential for businesses to overcome the growth dilemma:

Smaller businesses do not have a monopoly on good ideas, but many larger corporations are simply not set up to make the most of new propositions, business models and innovations. This is a waste; one that has resulted in once-household names ending up on the corporate scrapheap. In the new world of business innovation, it’s time for businesses to show that they can combine both scale and speed, move beyond the minimal viable product stage and drive business impact.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be outlining & exploring the six pillars that businesses can embrace to ensure that they are able to ride out the major shifts facing the corporate landscape. In the highly competitive business world of today, there are only two options: innovate or die. Our tips will help companies deliver sustainable success built on the principles of scale AND speed.

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