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Growth is naturally very important to both companies and investors. Some say, either your company grows or it fades away. Whether it is true or not, one thing that most of us can agree upon; it is much more inspiring, energizing and fun to work in company that grows, than in one, that fades slowly away!

Typically, a company can look for growth from the following sources:

a)    Sell more of the same to existing customers,
b)    Sell the same to new customers in addition to existing customers, and
c)     Sell new things to i) existing and/or ii) new customers, what we call here Innovation-Driven Growth.

Manage Innovation-Driven Growth

In this blog post I focus on the alternative c: Innovation-Driven Growth. If it would be easy, then everybody would be doing it, and all companies would be growing.

The biggest challenge in achieving innovation-driven growth is always in the product development pipeline of a company. Most companies say that they would love to introduce new innovations to the markets, but they just do not have any in the product development pipeline. This is caused by the fact that projects chosen in the product development pipeline are the safe bets, i.e. incremental improvements to existing products.

If you are looking for innovations, you must take some ideas – that have potential for great innovation – in your serious consideration when choosing candidates to your product development pipeline. This requires that you have your company’s front-end of innovation is well managed. It also requires that you can develop the potentially great innovations with right moves, often in close co-operation with your customers, without exposing your company to excessive risks.

Follow Front-end Innovation

How do you know that you have potential innovations in your front-end of innovation? The easiest way is to start following what happens in you front-end of innovation. This means that you need to have the right tools to evaluate the potential ideas as well as measure the innovation potential of the ideas.

Additionally, you need to follow how many of the potential innovation ideas reach your product development pipeline. Without taking some risks, Innovation-Driven Growth is not possible.

Should you want to discuss Innovation-Driven Growth more in detail, or should you want to know more about our ideas how Innovation-Driven Growth can be promoted, please be in touch with me.

Mikko Seppäläinen

Picture credit: Flickr CC / Steve Jurvetson