Definition

strategic innovation

Strategic innovation is an organization's process of reinventing or redesigning its corporate strategy to drive business growth, generate value for the company and its customers, and create competitive advantage. This type of innovation is essential for organizations to adapt to the speed of technology change.

Companies employing strategic innovation do not necessarily need to make changes to the goods and services they sell to their customers, nor to the technologies that support these products, to be successful. Strategic innovation often refers to innovation projects that occur at the executive level.

Strategic innovation considerations

Innovating corporate strategies could include the following considerations: what services or products need to be reinvented or developed; what markets to compete in; what business models to develop; how to optimize business processes; how to expand the customer base; how to position the company's brand in relation to target customers; how to make the supply chain and value chain more efficient; and go-to-market strategy.

Executing strategic innovation processes

Although strategic innovation initiatives are led by senior leaders, they need to foster a culture of innovation that encourages collaboration across business teams and functions.

Well-known examples of companies that have seen success applying strategic innovation include Apple, which expanded the use of computers to individuals; IBM, which expanded from selling hardware to providing whole solutions; Ikea, which standardized the type of product it sold (flat pack); and Nintendo, which expanded its customer base to women, adults and the elderly with the launch of Wii.

This was last updated in July 2016

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