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How to Structure and Scale a Product Organization for Growth 

Transforming into a product-led business is imperative for sustained growth. Here, we break down the three common stages of maturation and offer strategic solutions for overcoming product delivery hurdles.    

Software transforms every industry, and many have enviously observed the impressive growth and returns that software companies have amassed over the past two decades. Think of a hugely successful software company and chances are it espouses a product-led model. Naturally, traditional companies are realizing that to compete and grow, they must look, think, and act like product-led, software companies themselves. But simply hiring product management experts is not enough. Functioning as a modern software company requires building the right kind of product ecosystems and teams in order to find new ways to engage with customers around existing offerings, cross-sell opportunities and to create new channels for revenue. For many of these companies, the ambition to innovate is there, but the capabilities often aren’t. Unclear strategy, siloed functions and multiple handoffs cripple the speed and effectiveness of product releases, subsequently ruining the end customer experience. It’s an extremely challenging shift to tackle.  

We frequently encounter organizations that struggle to advance beyond one of these three critical stages of maturation. Let’s break these steps down: 

  • Building cross-functional product teams – this is the first step, and is about connecting the requisite skill sets, ways of working and focus to successfully build and deliver a digital touchpoint.  
  • Build and support multiple products – second, it’s time to move past those baseline capabilities and explore how to build and support multiple products in-market. Many often do this inefficiently, without connection to a strategy, capabilities or in a way that effectively delivers ROI across segments. It’s important to ensure that expansion doesn’t come at the price of the business’ reputation or quality of products or services. It requires a shared understanding of product excellence, visionary leadership and an unrelenting customer focus.   
  • Scale – finally, when the capabilities are established and products are successfully sustained across a range of customer types and use cases, companies see this as the time to scale in market. However, often they are unable to build a connected approach that allows them to scale in line with the ambitions of the business and grow their customer base. 

Embracing a Software Company Mindset and Unlocking Success: Three Strategic Solutions for Product Delivery & Maturation Hurdles 

1. Embedding Product Fundamentals 

Let’s start with an example of what happens when you are learning a new capability for the first time. We were working with a physical medical device manufacturer who had deep-rooted relationships with physicians and hospital networks. They had data, clear use cases and insights aplenty. Despite some successful pilot projects that sales reps were able to bootstrap to support their doctors, the company lacked the methods and capabilities to scale these projects or monetize them consistently for realizable ROI. We worked with them to define clear strategic goals metrics and a documented strategy on what opportunities they would and wouldn’t spend time and effort on to deliver customer and business value. In support of this strategy, we set up product pods of cross-functional capabilities, enabling each pod to work without functional dependencies. Armed with our Hypothesis 2 Action methodology, the pods would work at pace to bring market-backed evidence on the critical assumptions allowing them to quickly discard concepts that weren’t viable and focus on delivering clear customer value.  

2. Developing a Product Based, Customer-Centric Organization 

Transitioning into a product-centric, agile organization requires strategic coordination of product pods and experiences to create efficiencies across people, processes, data and technology and in the important use cases across the customer journey. Organizations at this stage often have a myriad of products in market but lack the structure to manage them in a way that reduces redundancy and gains a clear ROI against strategic business goals. The challenge is twofold: internally, numerous pet-projects have emerged organically in response to market needs, while externally, there is a scattered approach to different customer requirements, often leading to confusion.  

We worked with an international digital real estate firm in Europe that had built several digital product pilots across a range of customer needs and countries. They had the upper hand in multiple European markets but operated disparately amongst the countries. The vision was clear: a consolidated European digital real estate platform, like Zillow’s dominance in North America. Using our Product Maturity Model, we worked with them on a three-pronged approach: assessing the current ability of their cross-functional product pods, strategy and products; identifying what their future ambition was for strategic use cases and ways of working; and delivering a phase-by-phase transformation plan, which led to the creation of a cohesive digital product platform, thereby maximizing economies of scale. 

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3. Scaling Product Management  

As businesses grow, scaling becomes inevitable. There’s a compelling need to deliver a consistent level of product excellence, build direct-to-consumer relationships and unlock new avenues for revenue. Yet, scalability often opens the doors to redundancies, lack of clarity in customer segmentation and the sunk cost and effort to support ‘zombie projects’ kept alive for continued customer relationships rather than for the strategic use of resources.  

Over the past few years, we’ve been working with a leading national hardware big-box retailer. With a clear aim of generating exponential new revenue in the next three years, they had acquired several e-commerce companies catering to a professional segment of their customer base. The path forward involved evaluating the existing landscape of competitors for this segment and simultaneously assessing existing operational capabilities and ways of working using our Product Maturity Model. With this grounding, we helped the retailer articulate a comprehensive North Star strategy on where to invest, where to sustain and where to exit in exponentially growing this software-led business. After doing a deep gap analysis of their capabilities internally alongside a build/partner/buy strategy, we developed a multi-year digital product transformation roadmap. This aligning of internal enablers with the desired customer experience outcomes provided clear guidance for training, resource allocation, product management, investment and metrics to track their growth strategy. 

In the evolving business landscape, the art of creating, developing and scaling products is paramount. Evolving to become more like a software company with strategic insights, well-structured approaches, empowered product management and a customer-centric mindset means organizations will be better equipped to rise to the challenge.  


FINAL THOUGHTS

Through our years of collaboration with clients to develop, manage and mature their product capabilities, we have refined the core competencies needed to build successful product managers, product teams and businesses. Business leaders who identify with the three stages in this article can gain valuable insights by applying our Product Maturity framework to assess their company’s current status and growth opportunities. 

BOOK

Winning Through Platforms: How to Succeed When Every Competitor Has One

TED MOSER

Summary

Digital platforms are no longer for just the tech elite. They’re spreading to every company and industry, powered by the growth of sensors, streaming data, and AI. Platforms are to the 2020s what websites were to the 2000s. Websites let a company watch a prospective customer shop, interact with them as they explore, and add enough value during consideration to earn customer choice. Platforms – enabled by sensors, cloud hosting, and algorithms –light the valuable customer user journey that was formerly dark. They enable the company to watch the customer use what they have acquired, interact with the customer as they and others use, and add enough value to energize customer lifetime value growth.   

Just as companies wouldn’t have been able to thrive without deploying a website, going forward, they won’t be able to thrive without deploying a platform approach to business.   

How will you use platforms to drive your business success? And how will you succeed competitively when your markets get platform-crowded? Learn how to achieve uncommon growth with the help of the first competitive strategy and growth playbook written for current and aspiring platform companies. In the book, Prophet senior partner Ted Moser uses his years of advising many of the world’s leading technology companies, to reveal how to win through platforms.  

“Winning Through Platforms” decodes growth moves from a decade of platform competition, then communicates those moves through a platform playbook. It includes 24 proven platform strategies―such as customer coalition design, in-use enrichment, AI branding, and more.  

These playbook strategies are delivered through engaging stories of over 50 companies, plus proprietary frameworks and workshop-style questions that lead you to act. 

This impactful playbook will teach you how to: 

  • Use platforms to recharge your business portfolio 
  • Design platforms that are compelling to customers and hard for competitors to match 
  • Accelerate in-market growth through brand and demand engagement that spans your customer’s entire Choose and Use platform journey 
  • Innovate in high-impact areas that differentiate your platform and drive ROI 
  • Elevate your customer’s personalized platform interactions 
  • Transform your enterprise, operations and culture to drive superior performance 

CEOs, innovators, go-to-market leaders, and aspiring professionals alike will gain valuable insight from this book. Whether your company is just starting on its first platform journey or is a born platform disruptor, this book will transform your ability to win. 

Learn the platform playbook. Find and apply your plays. 

Take a sneak peek and read an excerpt from the Introduction here. 

Endorsements

“If you value fresh thinking, you’ll love this playbook. I’ve led platform initiatives across multiple industries – architecture, engineering, manufacturing, and trust intelligence – and the book’s platform plays apply insightfully to each one. It’s a thought-provoking guide, supported by compelling business examples, that can help you unleash broad growth opportunities through the power of digital platforms. It seamlessly leads you from strategic business decisions that unlock growth to best-in class-execution that produces tangible results.”

Lisa Campbell
One Trust CMO; former CMO & EVP – Business Strategy and Marketing, Autodesk 

“I wish I’d had Winning Through Platforms while I was at Microsoft evaluating our opportunities to apply AI for business and build ecosystems for platforms like Power BI. Creating shared value through cloud platforms is never accidental; fortunately, the authors systematically explain to readers how to creatively make platforms their catalyst for future growth, across industries. This playbook is an important new tool for leaders as they make strategic choices for the future of their business.”

Greg Nelson
Former Microsoft VP- Partner Ecosystem and General Manager -Business AI

“Winning through Platforms isn’t just any playbook – it’s a conceptual and practical blueprint for creating value in a world that increasingly runs on digital innovation. As a healthcare executive who leads systems transformation, I’ve found the book to be an indispensable strategic ally. It will speak to everyone charged with developing platform approaches to business. The clear and actionable ideas it provides for navigating the human dimensions of platform change are essential for every executive.”

David Grandy
VP-Strategic Innovation, Kaiser Permanente  

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Deepen Innovation Maturity to Win Out Fintech Disruption in Southeast Asia

How financial services companies should innovate in this disruptive landscape in SEA. 

Financial services companies are at a crossroads, facing an unprecedented risk of relinquishing their dominance. The unique financial services landscape in Southeast Asia (SEA) has paved the way for disruptive fintech companies to emerge as agile and visionary players, causing significant disruptions in the sector. To stay ahead of the game, traditional and international banks must enhance their innovation capabilities and embrace a progressive mindset as business models have changed and more disruptive fintech companies establish themselves in the industry.  

The Unique Financial Services Market in Southeast Asia  

One of SEA’s unique characteristics lies in its strong demand for convenient and accessible financial services, driven by a relatively large underbanked population. The Global Fintech Report estimates that over 70% of the Southeast Asian population remains unbanked or underbanked, with Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia having the highest combined rates. Coupled with a large population of young and digitally savvy consumers, SEA’s digital economy has enormous growth potential. It is also worth noting that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are huge driving forces of the SEA economy but most of them face difficulty in securing bank loans as they are unable to meet the eligibility criteria.  

Moreover, the regulatory environment in SEA has made the region a fertile ground for fintech innovation. Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia are now dominant players in the regional fintech scene, establishing a supportive regulatory environment that has driven the rise of virtual banks and encourages innovation and collaboration between fintech startups and traditional financial institutions. 

The uneven financial services landscape in SEA has given birth to virtual banks and led digital native startups to venture into developing accessible and inclusive financial solutions for underserved populations in the region. With a strong culture of innovation, fintech companies and neo-banks in the region have been able to reach the underserved micro-segments that incumbent banks were unable to fulfill. 

A Dynamic Landscape of Fintech Disruptors 

Among the disruptors, Chinese powerhouses Ant Financial and Tencent have emerged as formidable players, shaking up the local financial services scene by introducing e-payment solutions for tourists and partnering with local players. For instance, Ant Financial has invested in Ascend Money in Thailand, and Mynt in the Philippines, while WeChat Pay partnered with PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk to enter the Indonesian market. These disruptive business models in China have influenced SEA markets to accelerate innovation. Agile players like Singapore’s Grab and Indonesia’s Gojek have since expanded into the financial products, digital payment and e-wallet ecosystem. Each country has witnessed the rise of strong fintech players providing e-wallet services – Momo in Vietnam, PayMongo in the Philippines, Boost in Malaysia, GoPay and OVO in Indonesia, and GrabPay in Singapore. Not to be outdone, telecommunication companies are now diving headfirst into the fintech realm, forging strategic partnerships to expand their offerings far beyond their traditional core services. 

Furthermore, we are seeing increasing collaboration between incumbent banks and fintech companies in the region. For example, Siam Commercial Bank’s fintech subsidiary, SCBX, has announced its readiness to apply for a virtual banking license in partnership with South Korea’s largest digital bank, KakaoBank. By offering digital banking services in Thailand, SCBX aims to enhance competition and address the challenges faced by underserved individuals in the country. Similar collaborations have occurred in Singapore and Malaysia, where joint ventures between super apps like Grab and telco brands like SingTel have given rise to virtual digital banks. Notably, AirAsia’s fintech unit BigPay and Malaysian telco giant Axiata have also partnered with lender RHB Group to drive innovation in the financial services sector. 

As such, the ongoing fintech revolution in SEA is transforming the way financial services are provided and consumed, bringing financial inclusion and innovation to the forefront.  

Rising Challenge for Traditional Banks 

With dynamic fintech companies being laser-focused on addressing the needs of underserved segments, fintech’s impact in SEA is undeniable, pressurizing incumbent banks to innovate and transform.  

Several traditional banks have demonstrated a strong capacity to withstand fintech incursions and even turn the tide in their favor. An example is MB Bank, one of the largest financial groups in Vietnam that embarked on a digital transformation journey in partnership with Prophet. Through a customer-centric digital transformation and a new innovative growth hack business model, MB Bank successfully reimagined its business, products and experiences, acquiring some 20 million new customers in just 3 years with its new tech-like banking platform unlike any in the region. Gaining leadership as the No.1 digital bank and recognized as the most valuable brand in Vietnam by Brand Finance, MB Bank is now proudly listed as one of The Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s largest firms.  

​​​MB Bank’s remarkable disruption of legacy banking and admirable achievements serve as an inspiration for other traditional financial institutions seeking continued success in the digital era. 

Leveraging the Innovation Maturity Model for Traditional Financial Services 

To help financial services companies rethink and review their innovation strategies, Prophet’s financial services experts developed the Innovation Maturity Model to offer a definitive roadmap for organizations to outperform disruptive fintech firms. The model provides a systematic blueprint, with a focus on essential pillars such as strategy, organization, insights, culture, and education, to ensure effective performance. By leveraging these pillars, organizations can make well-informed strategic decisions and cultivate a culture driven by innovation, empowering them to seize growth opportunities. 

Importantly, traditional financial services companies must foster a culture of disciplined and rigorous innovation to gain an edge over the pervasive threat posed by fintech disruptors. The five pillars of the Innovation Maturity Model offer guidance and ammunition. By adopting this model, companies are able to inspect five dimensions of the business that are critical to enabling innovation. 

1. Strategy and Vision 

The key to successful innovations lies in a focused strategy that aligns closely with customer truths and relevance. By developing future-proof solutions rooted in a profound understanding of current and future customer needs, financial services companies can navigate the dynamic industry landscape and remain competitive in the long run. 

Take inspiration from MB Bank, which gained a deep understanding of the pain points faced by Vietnamese consumers when it comes to banking. It had thus defined a clear strategic vision for its transformation to be a customer-centric and digital-first bank of the future, unlocking a series of innovative digital experiences for its young and underbanked audience. 

 
2. Organization and Mechanics 

It is crucial to embed innovation throughout the organization to efficiently deliver cutting-edge products and services. This involves fostering internal collaboration across different functions and tapping on external perspectives and knowledge, including that of fintech companies. 

A notable example is Standard Chartered’s collaboration on Mox (in partnership with HKT, PCCW and Trip.com) and Trust Bank (collaboration with Singapore’s leading retailer Fairprice), which enabled them to leverage the latter’s advanced huge customer base, technological infrastructures and cloud-native features. The consequential improvements in Standard Chartered’s operational efficiency and customer experience highlight the advantages of collaboration even with unexpected partners in the financial sector. 

 
3. Insights and Measurements  

To stay attuned to customer expectations, financial services companies must facilitate the integration of predictive and prescriptive capabilities. By harnessing the power of data analysis and insights, financial services companies can anticipate future needs and make informed decisions.  

MB Bank for example greatly stepped up its data analytics with its enterprise transformation, boosting insights with real-time dashboards across critical customer touchpoints as well as investing in Martech to better understand customers and improve customer experiences.  

It is imperative for financial services companies to consistently monitor the relevance and effectiveness of their initiatives and be receptive to necessary changes. By doing so, they can react faster and sharper to ensure that their innovation and customer experience initiatives remain in sync with customer expectations, resolve pain points and stay ahead of the curve. 

 
4. Culture, Behaviour and Rituals

Fostering an innovative culture is also pivotal to achieving long-term success. Financial organizations must adopt a mindset of perpetual learning and refrain from assuming that past practices alone will be adequate in the future. This is especially so as fintech and Insurtech are two of the fastest growing in SEA where innovation is the bedrock of these disruptors.   

Apart from inculcating an innovation culture with ongoing initiatives, activities like hackathons widely used in tech firms are also effective approaches to fostering innovation as they promote learning, skill development and exposure to novel methodologies and ideas. Hackathons can also serve as powerful recruitment tools. DBS, for instance, strategically leverages programs like Hack2hire to identify and attract highly skilled individuals with expertise in cloud technologies, AI, Big Data, and analytics. By hosting such hackathons, DBS creates opportunities to engage with talented individuals and recruit them into their organization, ensuring a pipeline of top-notch talent in relevant domains. 

MB Bank’s HIVE innovation lab is another notable example where new ideas are incubated, with collaborations with start-ups, and internal growth hacks and product innovations are continuously tested and piloted.  

5. Education and Enablement

Financial services companies must also recognize the importance of education and enablement. Traditional providers should strike a balance between internal and external education, offering training and enablement programs to keep employees updated on emerging trends and agile solution-building.  

Both DBS and MB Bank exemplify dedication to continuous employee development through the establishment of DBS Academy and MB Academy respectively. Through a blend of formal training with communities-based learning, both banks aim to equip their workforce with the necessary tools and digital skills to thrive in dynamic business environments. 

Additionally, establishing strategic partnerships and providing educational content to ecosystem partners empowers them with the latest technological developments. 


FINAL THOUGHTS

In this heavily fragmented and competitive financial services market, international banks and local giants confront the need to evaluate their capacity to effectively participate and thrive in local markets. Prophet’s Innovation Maturity Model presents a proven transformative framework that empowers financial services companies to bolster their innovation capabilities to drive sustainable, uncommon growth in the constantly evolving financial landscape. We’d be delighted to speak with you regarding your firm’s innovation outlook and how we can help you achieve them. 

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Five Rules for Optimizing Omni-channel Clinical Care Models 

Building a human-centric healthcare organization that delivers on patients’ needs. 

With the pandemic increasingly in the rearview mirror, many healthcare organizations are coming to terms with the big and small changes that have become permanent parts of the healthcare landscape. Ushered in during the pandemic, omnichannel care delivery is now a fixture and will play an influential role for many years to come; that’s a good thing, as patients prefer having options and are often enthusiastic about new channels, technologies and treatments. More caregivers now see the value of omnichannel care, especially telehealth and in-home care, because they work so well for patients.    

In our recent work with clients, we’ve seen how different types of healthcare organizations can capitalize on leading practices for change and transformation as they seek to refine, optimize and expand their omnichannel clinical care models.  

The common denominator with healthcare leaders is human centricity. Organizations that successfully drive change design their care models around what patients want and need. Similarly, organizations that adopt a human-centered approach to transformation are more likely to succeed in winning hearts and minds, instilling new behaviors and changing the culture in sustainable ways.  

1. When transforming the clinical care model, start small and iterate fast. 

There are ample transformation opportunities across healthcare but organizations that take on too much change too fast are bound to struggle. The key is to focus on the achievable while understanding the distinct needs of underserved populations and addressing drivers of high cost. 

Organizing around a condition or a use case, rather than a service line, can be useful both for making progress and setting up for broader change over the long term. Breaking down big changes into manageable steps is the only way to go. For example, to redesign diabetes care, leaders will need first to address issues typically treated by primary care, endocrinologists and cardiologists, as well as supporting clinicians in nutrition and other related aspects of care.  

Our work with one national player confirmed how many patients with kidney failure “crash” into dialysis in an unplanned fashion when longitudinal care models can address the holistic needs of such patients. When Geisinger launched a home care program, it realized impressive results, including reduced ER visits and lower costs, largely due to its careful patient selection, a focus on chronic conditions and proactive outreach by care teams.   

Within value-based care models, better patient communication can increase HCAHPS scores, which directly impacts reimbursement. That’s a relatively small-bore change that can yield potentially big results. 

2. Recognize that every healthcare organization is also a software company. And an AI and data science firm, too.  

Whether or not they want to be, all types of healthcare companies are in the technology business – and we’re not referring exclusively to electronic medical records (EMRs). Software now underpins every step of the care delivery process and is essential to making the “anytime care from anywhere” vision a workable operational reality. And yet, there’s no denying that tech has contributed to significant burnout among healthcare workers, including physicians.  

Healthcare organizations would benefit from several tech innovations, including agile sprints and experience design principles, to continuously enhance features. Had EMRs been designed in this manner, they would more seamlessly fit into the clinical workflow and not contribute to provider burnout as they are today. Healthcare organizations can take a similar approach as they design omnichannel care delivery models and deploy new technology.  

Thinking like a service designer will help orchestrate the linkages between backstage systems and data sources and, ultimately, create a seamless experience for all types of users. Accommodating the needs of users with different levels of technology access and literacy – including both patients and caregivers – is the key to developing high-impact solutions. When designing a patient app for patients receiving home dialysis, we went through multiple rounds of design and user testing to ensure that the experience met patient needs in an intuitive way and delivered the right information at the right time. That’s how to empower – rather than overwhelm – users.  

Organizations must also change the perception, common after initial rollouts of EMR systems, that technology is the enemy. One way to overcome that persistent bias is to co-create solutions with patients, caregivers and providers. That’s what we did with a national player seeking to shift the site of care from clinics and inpatient settings to the home. Service designers worked directly with nurses and nurse practitioners who could speak empathetically to the day-to-day needs and challenges faced by home healthcare teams and provide feedback on initial design sketches. These foundational insights, as well as those from patient groups, guided the design of new tools.  

AI Goes Everywhere

There’s no talking about tech without talking about artificial intelligence (AI). AI seems to be taking over healthcare. Payers are using it to digitize claims, conduct audits and monitor payments. Clinically, AI is helping physicians scan X-rays and get ahead of emerging risks and adverse outcomes. Providers use AI to design care paths, personalize care coordination and model the financial impacts of different treatment plans. AI promises to revolutionize clinical trials in the pharmaceutical sector.  

Embedding AI-enabled technology deeply into care delivery processes can make routine tasks simpler, faster and safer. And it’s the most effective way to use technology as a “force multiplier” in delivering care, which is the primary motivation for many healthcare organizations that acquire technology companies. Technology that enables caregivers to do their jobs more effectively and operate at the top of their licenses is invaluable in a time of provider shortages. Equipping end-users (including physicians) with training, skills and knowledge to use the right tech at the right time is how tech can directly support better outcomes.  

That sort of human-centered approach is necessary to change minds, create advocates and smooth the transition as the organization evolves from being healthcare-centric to thinking and acting like tech, AI and data science companies.  

3. Transformation takes an ecosystem.  

Achieving ambitious change objectives will almost certainly require collaboration with others – including payers, specialty care providers, technology companies or other third parties. So finding the right partners is critical, even when focusing on a manageable, well-defined issue or opportunity.  

The massive complexity of healthcare – both as a business and in terms of delivering care – makes broad organizational buy-in an absolute imperative for effective transformation. Overlooking a key constituency can make the difference between success and failure.  

We define stakeholders as anyone playing a role in care or invested in its outcomes. Thus, the universe of stakeholders includes everyone from institutions (e.g., payers and large employers) to back-stage actors (e.g., hospital management, pharmacies) to front-line care providers (e.g., PCPs, specialists, therapists, care coordinators, social workers) and, of course, patients who must remain at the center. These stakeholders have wildly different incentives, hold different values and operate with different information and authority. 

The broadest ecosystems require teams to think like systems designers in working outward from the patient to the entire stakeholder ecosystem, including front-stage actors (e.g., caregivers, PCPs and specialists) and back-stage actors (e.g., care managers, pharmacists, hospitals, payers, regulators).  

Ecosystem design requires incorporating the needs and perspectives of many different stakeholders.  

All of these players have widely different incentives, hold different values and operate with different information and authority. Misalignment among ecosystem partners can manifest in systemic problems that reach deeper than any single touchpoint. When we design healthcare ecosystems, we apply such principles to understand current systems and envision those that will be necessary tomorrow. Design tools such as ecosystem and value exchange mapping are a critical part of incorporating the entire innovation ecosystem into specific solutions. 

Leveraging Internal Ecosystems

The most successful transformation programs also involve many different internal constituencies. One Fortune 500 healthcare organization seeking to disrupt renal care with increased use of in-home dialysis built a diverse, cross-functional team, including digital strategists, product teams, client nurses, nephrologists and other specialists, in its ideation process. It gathered ongoing input via iterative design and feedback sessions. The testing process of initial solutions involved 40+ external users, including patients, nurses and other caregivers and social workers.  

Organizations enacting large-scale strategic change often convene a leadership council for regular reviews and feedback. Typically, such groups include chief medical officers, clinical business unit leaders, medical specialists and senior operational and administrative leaders.  

4. Embrace regulation and payer mandates as inspiration for innovation.  

The expanding adoption of value-based care shows how regulatory requirements can prompt necessary change for organizations with creative leadership and high degrees of operational agility. By default, many leaders resist new rules and love to complain about old ones, which can lead to regulatory oversight being used as an excuse not to change.  

Federal regulators are certainly looking to foster innovation and prompt greater use of in-home dialysis via reimbursement changes in kidney care and other areas. The acute shortage of clinicians is another area where regulators are likely to be flexible in allowing healthcare organizations to experiment with new care delivery options. Consider how pandemic-era stop-gap measures to allow providers to practice telemedicine across state lines have remained in place. We believe the clinician shortage is an existential threat that must be at the forefront of the design of omnichannel care delivery models. Certainly, it will force provider organizations to automate more low-value tasks as they seek to expand their reach.  

Social determinants of health (SDoH) are also being incorporated into regulatory frameworks as their importance to health becomes clearer. Medicaid changes are more likely in the short term, with Medicare following suit in the long term. Organizations that are proactive in developing solutions – ideally in collaboration with regulators and other partners – will be positioned for future success.  

Working with a national provider organization to address the needs of diabetes patients, we focused on SDoH in determining how to shift the site of care to the home. Patients with mobility issues, those that lived in food deserts, or lacked reliable WiFi for remote diagnostics each required different design decisions. As innovation strategies more frequently intersect with regulatory requirements, we help clients think through the implications and find opportunities to streamline compliance processes as an outgrowth of experience design and technology development.  

5. You can’t change your clinical care model without changing your business model.     

This might be the hardest challenge in healthcare, because of the frequent tension between what’s good for patients and what’s good for the bottom line. In theory, clinical care organizations can find the financial backing to move to a more consumer-centric clinical care model in one of two ways:    

  • Improving patient loyalty and outcomes to become a recognized market leader or provider of choice, with the net effect of boosting both patient volumes and financial returns. 
  • Maximizing reimbursement for all kinds of clinical care services including those delivered outside the traditional clinic.    

We’ve found the first is a harder recipe for success and following it can lead to internal disbelief at best and barriers at worst. Financial incentives need to align with care incentives. Organizations that invest in transforming their care model should expect to realize financial rewards or at least figure out how to get paid for providing services that benefit patients.  

To make it happen, we have helped strong leaders think outside of existing markets to create new categories of care based on patient needs. To model the potential for a new home health business that a diversified healthcare giant was launching, we created a consensus view of existing service lines that could be brought together to meet patient needs in the home, from infusions, to telehealth, to diagnostics and monitoring. Here again, the key was getting stakeholders to collaborate and communicate in new ways.  


FINAL THOUGHTS

Is there a more human-centric industry than healthcare? With technology becoming ubiquitous in all forms of care delivery, it may seem an odd time to ask the question. But in our experience, healthcare organizations that master the human touch in both care delivery and designing and implementing their own transformation initiatives realize the best clinical and business outcomes.  

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Four Ways to Futureproof and Build Resilience Through Innovation in Southeast Asia 

Building innovation for resilience is no longer a good to have, but a must-have for companies in Southeast Asia.

In today’s world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), businesses continue to be challenged and their resilience tested. Innovation is increasingly crucial for enhancing resilience, yet most organizations still see tension between the two instead of the potential for a more positive business outcome. In our latest global research and report, Building Business Resilience Through Innovation, we found that the most successful organizations are using innovation to drive business resilience.  

Southeast Asia (SEA), one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, faces unique challenges such as limited resources, inadequate infrastructure, and complex cultural and socio-economic contexts. Yet these constraints are also the reasons why the region is one of the most creative in problem-solving due to its frugal yet bold innovation culture. In fact, according to the Global Innovation Index 2022, SEA is one of the only regions globally closing the gap on North America and Europe in terms of innovation and has become a hotbed for tech startups and a home to a number of highly successful companies with soaring valuations.  

Leading the pack is Singapore which positions itself as a hub for innovation in the SEA region. With plans to invest SG$24 billion ($18.1 billion USD) over the next three years to help local businesses build “deep, future-ready” capabilities for innovation and transformation. The country has already attracted Google, Dyson, Visa and Hyundai which have chosen to set up their APAC headquarters and innovation labs in Singapore.  

Our research further unveils that several companies in SEA  innovate better than many global players by leveraging diverse innovation techniques across an organization. Here are four successful innovation techniques we uncovered: 

1. Embrace a Lean Startup Mentality to Drive Organization-wide Innovation 

Large enterprises today possess years of built-up legacy practices and a bureaucracy that is often hard to change. A lean startup mentality allows large enterprises to operate more nimbly and flexibly, adapting to business needs or customer feedback in real time. This is achieved by organizing traditionally large innovation teams into pod-like working squads, each with the goal of building new products, testing features, and validating ideas in an agile manner. Firms in Singapore are using this tactic well and are in fact, twice as likely to use pod-like team structures / decentralized teams than in the US and UK (27% vs 13%).  

For example, MB Bank, a leading bank in Vietnam, spun off a business unit when it embarked on its digital banking journey. To accelerate digital transformation, the digital bank operated much like a lean and agile startup to ramp up its digital product development process. The new digital banking model was then reverse-engineered across the legacy bank as part of the enterprise-wide transformation. Today, MB is highly regarded as one of the most innovative banks in Vietnam and has close to a thousand employees in its digital, IT and tech divisions working in pod-like structures to continuously deliver products ahead of its competition. It is therefore no surprise that MB digital banking has acquired close to 20 million retail customers today in a short period of just 3 years since its launch and is the only banking app in Apple’s Top 10 Apps two years in a row. Learn more about Prophet’s work with MB Bank.  

In Singapore, DBS, one of Asia’s most digitally advanced and innovative banks, set up DBS Asia X (DAX), a collaborative innovation facility where it runs all open innovation-related initiatives, supported by partners, startups, and its other innovation teams such as DBS Ventures and DBS Xchange. Separate from its headquarters in the central business district, employees and external resources in this facility work in pod-like teams with startup mentalities to design and deliver digital products that help DBS remain one of the top digital banks in the world. 

Takeaway: Large traditional organizations must break down the walls of bureaucracy, and function like startups to stay agile and ahead of the innovation curve. 

2. Leverage Open Innovation to Expand Innovation Horizons 

Open innovation is an approach that involves working with external partners to generate and implement new ideas. Instead of relying solely on internal resources, companies engage with a variety of external stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, universities, startups, and other companies, to develop new products, services and processes. Our research shows that organizations in Singapore are more likely to have formal innovation incubation programs than in the West (35% vs 15%). 

Singapore’s government remains one of the most innovative countries in its “Smart Nation” endeavor and continues to lead by example when it comes to open innovation. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), a part of Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information, promotes open innovation through its Open Innovation Platform which offers co-funding support for prototyping and deployment of ideas from the public.  

Across Singapore and Hong Kong, DBS has also been running several pre-accelerator programs, which allows them to stay connected with new, emerging fintech; resulting in new mobile features such as conversational banking, which is a combination of AI technologies from fintech startups such as Moneythor, V-Key and Kasisto.  

The Malaysia-based airline, AirAsia, established Redbeat Ventures to expand its offerings beyond flights to include other travel-related products, such as hotels and travel insurance. The company also organized hackathons to generate ideas and solutions for specific challenges, inviting employees, customers and external partners to participate and providing resources and support to help teams prototype and test their ideas. 

Takeaway: Organizations should adopt open innovation and increased collaboration as a strategic approach to tap into the expertise of external partners and stakeholders, and drive innovation, growth, and competitive advantage. 

3. Adopt Design Thinking to build and meet dynamic consumer needs 

Many innovation initiatives fail due to a lack of structure and process when developing new services and products. This is where design thinking comes in. It is a powerful tool for fostering innovation by understanding user needs, questioning existing assumptions, reframing problems, and generating pioneering solutions that can be prototyped and tested. Design thinking methods are well implemented by firms, especially in Singapore, and twice as likely to use this tactic for innovation as compared to the West (39% vs 23%). 

CP Group, a Thai conglomerate with operations in agribusiness, retail, and telecommunications, embraced design thinking boldly when they set up True Digital Academy in partnership with the US-based design thinking institute, General Assembly. The Academy doubles down on the adoption of design thinking for innovating new products and services to meet shifting consumer needs. In fact, CP group’s newly launched line of high-protein instant noodles targeted at health-conscious consumers, and a plant-based brand, MEAT-ZERO is the result of the new design thinking approach. The Group’s ambition is to make MEAT-ZERO one of the top three alternative meat brands in the world by 2026. 

Unilever is another example of a company that leverages design thinking to drive innovation in its target markets and has succeeded in being the first in market for many of its hair care products. In recent years, the proportion of Indonesian women wearing the hijab has grown significantly (~ 20% since 2018). In response, Unilever began increasing efforts to innovate hair care via design thinking frameworks to better serve this target segment, by taking into consideration the human truths such as pain points and needs of the hair care routine across various hijaber personas. By leveraging design thinking, Unilever can better serve the ever-changing needs of its target markets and customers.  

Takeaway: The use of design thinking to innovate and adapt to shifting consumer needs and market trends, coupled with a long-term commitment to innovation, is a key driver of business resilience and growth. 

4. Leverage Scenario Planning to Stay Future Proof 

In the wake of increased economic unpredictability and global instability, scenario planning has become more important than ever. Scenario planning allows organizations to prepare for potential future events or unforeseen market changes. For example, DBS Bank used scenario planning to anticipate the impact of digital disruption on the banking industry and developed a digital transformation roadmap to stay ahead of the curve. It also developed a “Future of Work” scenario to anticipate how work and workplaces may change in the future and are using the scenario to inform their HR policies and strategies. 

Elsewhere in Singapore, Keppel Corporation assessed multiple challenges such as overcapacity, low oil prices, prolonged downturn and increased competition from China. With scenario planning, Keppel developed the “2030 Energy Scenario” assessment which involved solutions such as diversifying their business into areas such as renewables and data centers to reduce their dependence on the oil and gas industry.  

Takeaway: To future-proof their business, organizations must incorporate scenario planning into their strategy development process to identify potential risks and opportunities to develop contingency plans to mitigate risks. 


FINAL THOUGHTS

Forward thinking companies in SEA are leveraging multiple techniques in tandem to stay ahead, de-risk their business, and win against competitors. Innovation, however, doesn’t start and end within the company – tapping into both internal and external resources and expertise can be crucial, especially during this period of VUCA. Building innovation for resilience is no longer a nice to have, but a must-have for all organizations. Embracing an innovation culture and integrating an innovative way of life takes time and patience. Most importantly, organizations need to foster the right innovation approach and tools in a structured manner to achieve the desired goals and results.  

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Future Back Planning: Maximizing Future Growth Opportunities 

Future back planning is key to unlocking uncommon growth during times of economic uncertainty. 

Future back planning is key to unlocking uncommon growth during times of economic uncertainty. 

In our latest global research report, Building Business Resilience Through Innovation, we found that a leading barrier to increasing innovation efforts is that the organization lacks a long-term planning process. Unfortunately for many companies, this has only worsened in the last few years as reactive thinking characterized by the pandemic era.   

As innovation leaders emerge from this reactive phase and begin to chart out the next few years of growth during a time of great economic uncertainty, it is essential to create a growth strategy that spans these three-time horizons.

Across these horizons, there is an inverse relationship between the investment in resources and the investment in strategic decisions. Running the business of today is resource intensive and requires operating with excellence with much less space for strategic exploration. In contrast, exploring the business’ target destination over the next five to ten years within a wide open divergence environment is time intensive. Due to the scarcity of resources, it often requires time-bound investment to collect data on the most relevant drivers of change, model potential scenarios that could unfold over time, and based on that, determine what new opportunities are worth further validation and investment.  

In Horizon 1, the existing value chain is used to optimize and scale the business, but in Horizon 3, the needed value chain will most likely be adjacent to today’s value chain. The inversion point of building the new value chain is challenging to manage because resources are ramping up as the ability to make strategic decisions is fading. At this point, the skills required to be successful change. It is operationally complex to get something to move through the inversion curve.   

If a business neglects Horizon 3 activities today, it sets itself up to be leapfrogged by the competition because it will not have invested in the assets and capabilities needed to act on emerging opportunities.

Future Back Helps Companies Maximize Growth Opportunities in Horizon 3  

While it is impossible to predict the future, market leaders and makers proactively anticipate preferred and disruptive future scenarios. The first step is understanding the most impactful drivers of change that will shape the future market landscape. Drivers of change come from a range of sources: the classic Porter’s Five Forces of suppliers, buyers, new entrants, substitutes and competitors that determine industry profitability, as well as macro-forces that are broader than industry boundaries, often categorized as social, technological, economic, environmental, and regulatory drivers (STEER).  

From doing future back work across industries, we have found three non-mutually exclusive factors that help us see around corners. Across these factors, emerging technology is critical in reshaping societal norms, enabling new interaction modes, and determining future profitability and competitive advantage sources. 

3 Non-MECE Factors that Shape the Future Market Landscape 

1. The Overton Window describes the range of policies that are accepted by the mainstream at a given time and can be used to identify ideas on the threshold of gaining mainstream acceptance. For example, over the last 50 years, public acceptance of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) has rapidly increased as the availability of IVF technology has also grown. In 2021, fertility support startups raised $345M, up 35% from the previous year. Health systems and payors that anticipated this shift ten years ago were able to differentiate themselves within a rapidly growing market. However, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, societal progress regarding IVF is now under threat. Industries heavily funded by the government, such as healthcare and clean energy, are also strongly shaped by changing societal norms. 

2. Behavioral shifts often emerge due to technological advancements that make it easier to do more with less or create new modes of interaction between humans and machines. For example, Figma’s significant innovation was being browser-first, with the ability to edit files in real-time in the cloud, allowing teams of developers, designers, and product managers to collaborate in one place efficiently.  
 
Adobe was late to the game of browser-first collaboration and, as a result, paid $20 billion to acquire Figma, which had roughly $400M in revenues at the time. The steep price was considered a solid investment given the future value of Figma’s product spaces. Thinking more broadly, technological advancements across the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, artificial and virtual reality, and autonomous machines will enormously impact behavior and interaction modes, changing how we learn, work, collaborate and entertain ourselves.  

3. Business model shifts are often required to capitalize on or meet emerging technology demands, regulation, the economic environment, and ESG agendas. For example, Fundrise was the first company to crowdfund real estate investment successfully, and the founders did it by seeking the expertise of regulators from the beginning. Working with a former regulator, Ben Miller figured out how to use Regulation A to raise money from non-accredited investors, which was the first time anyone had ever done. Eventually, the regulation changed to Regulation A+, which allowed the company to raise more equity from non-accredited investors while streamlining the filing process. Still, at that point, Fundrise was already the category leader in a new market.

Four Questions to Determine a Company’s Options within the Future Market Landscape 

Once we understand the most impactful drivers of change, the next step is modeling the most viable opportunities for a specific company to pursue. We begin with four questions:  

1. How is a company encumbered and advantaged?  

This includes understanding a company’s options based on its funding and regulatory moats. Firms funded by unregulated capital have an entirely different set of options than firms funded by regulated capital. A venture capital-funded firm can take on much higher fixed costs to stand up a new capability without a near-term path to profitability. For example, the data cloud company Snowflake raised $2.1B over eleven rounds of funding since 2012 and isn’t expected to reach profitability until 2023.    

On the other hand, an advantage of being a large, publicly traded company is that it is easier to find suppliers and partners to test and validate Horizon 3 growth hypotheses with and bring new offerings to market. Along with understanding the implications of funding sources, it’s essential to know where margins come from today – is it from hardware, software, or services? Who has the most power in the value chain to extract more margin over time? What parts of a company’s existing product line, assets, and capabilities might serve as a moat? Does it have access to a rare resource on the supply side or a lock-in effect on the consumer side? Finally, is there a regulatory moat that will make it difficult to unseat an incumbent?   

2. Who has the preferred position in the market to launch and scale this idea?  

The most critical mindset of future back work is humility. We always assume that another player is better set up to execute an idea. The big four (Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta/ Facebook) dominate their innovation ecosystems due to their scale, network effects, and ability to buy entire markets. Firms operating within these ecosystems are often unlikely to win share-of-wallet among end consumers and are much more likely to succeed by playing a critical infrastructure or support role. We look at the role of aggregators and integrators in the innovation ecosystem to understand how parts of the market are consolidating and where technology is being abstracted away from the end user.   

3. Who is the player that can shut this idea down? 

As Archimedes said, “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” In highly regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare, a significant source of Horizon 3 growth is creating new business models based on the changing regulatory landscape. Like the Fundrise example, the founder of Coinbase realized that abiding by U.S. law rather than moving offshore could act as a long-term defendable moat for the company. With the collapse of FTX, that bet has already paid off.   

4. What has prevented this idea from being launched and adopted before? 

Is the idea on the threshold of becoming mainstream? Is there a consumer experience problem or a price-to-value problem? Or does capital not think it’s worth an investment? The inevitable endpoint of markets is to solve consumer problems rather than business and technical problems. Enterprise capital is good at solving Horizon 1 business problems, such as increasing conversion in existing channels, creating efficiencies, and increasing margins.  

On the other hand, venture capital is good at investing in long-plays that create new consumer markets because it has a risk appetite and is willing to be too early. Too early might mean taking on the cost of educating the market about a problem that they should have realized could be solved. For example, Netflix was loved for eliminating late fees (a consumer problem previously considered unavoidable in a physical rental market). Still, the company was perceived as shifting to a digital-first business model too quickly. Success in bridging the gap between its Horizon 3 digital-first business and its Horizon 1 DVD rental business required subsidizing the price of the new service for end consumers.   

The Mindset We Bring to Future Back Work 

The future back process combines design methodology (outside-in and hypothesis-led) with business rigor (commercial opportunity assessment with an asset-forward view of value-chain adjacencies and potential competitive moats).   

The mindset we apply to this work draws from design and consulting. We’ve distilled it into three design principles: 

Humble 

We begin this work by assuming that another player has a better solution as well as a preferred position in the market.  

Anti-fragile 

We create a durable portfolio of growth moves in order to hedge our bets, with the understanding that it is impossible to know exactly how the market will reshape over time. 

Effective collaboration  

You need to keep running the business of today while exploring what your business might be in the future. At the same time, your hypotheses around how the market might shift and what options are most attractive for your company are the entry point into this work. We design future back engagements to extract maximum input in the most time-efficient way by starting with stakeholder hypotheses, bringing in external experts to identify new opportunities and threats quickly, and then designing workshops and executive communications that bring your team along the right way at the right time. 

The Outcomes We Achieve Through Future Back Work 

There are three main outcomes that we have consistently achieved through this work: 

  1. Board-level alignment and buy-in on a future vision. For example, supporting the approval of a board-level, multi-hundred-million-dollar M&A strategy in order to create an entirely new product category. 
  2. Driving capital allocation for new business building. For example, on a recent project, this work led to a $5 billion acquisition as the centerpiece of a new business unit. 
  3. Updating the product roadmap to transition from now and near-term investments to decisions that will drive the next horizon of the business. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

We would love to do this work with you. If you already have hypotheses on the future of your business, we can dive into a Future Back project to explore, validate, design and quantify those opportunities. If you know that your company needs a Horizon 3 growth strategy, but your leadership team isn’t bought in, we have interim steps to drive alignment among stakeholders while collecting initial hypotheses on potential sources of long-term growth. 

Interested in maximizing your future growth opportunities? Please get in touch. 

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Connecting the Dots Between Innovation and Resilience: 4 Learnings for Companies in China

Companies in China believe innovation and resilience are connected but they experience strong tension. Read more on how to overcome barriers. 

Investing in both innovation and organizational resilience are two essential elements of success for companies to compete in today’s rapidly changing world. Through interviews with 14 senior executives and surveying 300+ innovation experts across the globe, Prophet’s latest research explores how successful organizations use innovation to drive business resilience.  

Four Learnings for Companies in China to Build Innovative Organizations 

Our findings reveal that innovative companies are more likely to be resilient. Particularly, 60% of respondents in China agree that innovation and resilience are connected, more so than their counterparts in Singapore (48%), the U.S. (47%) and the UK (47%). However, there exists a strong tension between the two characteristics – while Chinese companies on average deploy more innovation tactics compared to companies globally, they also face more pronounced barriers. In this article, we share our key findings and explore implications for Chinese businesses seeking to drive sustainable growth through innovation. 

1. Prioritize Cross-Functional Alignment 

Incubation programs and pod-like team structures have long proven to be effective innovation tactics and are widely adopted by companies in China. According to our research, 35% of Chinese respondents report that their companies have a formal innovation incubation program compared to 21% of respondents globally. Additionally, 27% of Chinese respondents report their companies use pod-like team structures vs. just 18% of respondents globally. However, such team structures risk becoming siloed. A lack of cross-functional alignment remains a significant barrier to innovation and growth, with 44% of Chinese respondents citing it as a challenge compared to only 32% globally. 

One example of how cross-functional alignment can impact innovation comes from the fast-growing beverage brand Chi Forest. As a startup, the company found tremendous success through operational agility, running pod-like teams with product managers in each team leading individual innovation initiatives. However, as Chi Forest grew, organizational inefficiencies emerged due to a lack of streamlined workflows and cross-functional collaboration, causing an overlap of roles and processes. Chi Forest has embarked on an organization-wide transformation agenda to reimagine its operation and business model.  

Takeaway: It is important to implement innovation incubation programs and pod-like team structures, while also emphasizing cross-functional alignment. 

2. Develop Balanced Innovation Incentive Structures 

Incentives are a crucial part of driving innovation, but overly focusing on short-term financial outcomes can hinder success. Our findings show that 56% of Chinese respondents report their companies to have special incentive structures for new business opportunities compared to 30% globally. Yet this has also led to an innovation barrier, where 54% of Chinese respondents say their companies have too much emphasis on short-term financial results compared to 35% globally. 

To empower long-term growth for the company, innovation success should be measured against various objectives beyond financial ROI. For example, Xiaomi has a series of incentive programs to encourage innovation, including an Annual Technology Award that rewards $1 million to an internal engineering project every year, evaluating technology and engineering excellence as well as business impact. The 2022 winner, Xiaomi’s CyberDog team, impressed CEO Lei Jun because the project successfully integrated many of the group’s R&D results and presented new technologies that could be soon applied to other core products. This is a good example of how incentives can be used effectively to drive impactful innovation.  

On the other hand, companies like Pop Mart are facing growing pains. Although the company offers generous incentives, it measures innovation success solely on the creation of new product lines and their short-term sales volumes. As a result, the toy maker is left with a bloated portfolio and hasn’t been able to elevate its brand equity despite years of exponential growth. 

Takeaway: To avoid pitfalls, organizations must develop incentive structures to recognize results, while avoiding overly focusing on short-term financial outcomes. 

3. Guide Rapid Innovation Cycles with Long-Term Vision 

Rapid prototyping and iteration is a common innovation tactic, but past innovation failures and a lack of long-term planning processes can discourage innovation. Our findings show that 31% of respondents in China say their companies use rapid prototyping and iteration compared to just 19% of respondents globally. However, failed past attempts at innovation have limited commitment to future innovation for 40% of Chinese companies compared to 28% globally. Additionally, 40% of Chinese respondents say their companies lack a long-term planning process compared to 38% globally. 

Shiseido’s approach to innovation is a great example of how companies can balance a strong brand vision and rapid innovation cycles. “Shiseido’s ability to have lasting success is in large part due to our dedication to creating the best quality products to meet consumer needs. This dedication to ‘craftsmanship’ is why we don’t blindly follow market trends but rather think critically about how we can further refine our products,” said Carol Zhou, SVP of China Business Innovations & Investments at Shiseido, in an interview with Prophet, “Although we may not always be at the forefront of trends, we have found the right pace to create a timeless brand.”  

Takeaway: Organizations should lead innovations with a clear vision and long-term planning, while enabling rapid prototyping and iteration based on a clear strategic roadmap, to create products that meet both long-term and short-term goals. 

4. Focus on Customer Insights as a Foundation of Innovation 

Creating differentiating innovations and finding emergent subcategories are effective ways to separate yourself from competitors, but paying too much attention to competitors and too little attention to customer needs is a surprisingly common mishap, according to our research. Chinese companies tend to focus heavily on competitor activity, with 40% doing so compared to 29% globally. This is often at the expense of paying attention to the needs of their customers, with 52% of Chinese respondents reporting that a major barrier to innovation for their companies is paying too little attention to customer needs, compared to 37% globally.  

Companies must develop an organizational-wide mindset of diving into customer insights, data analysis, and user testing to identify what customers truly need and want. By doing so, they can create innovative products and services that truly differentiate them from their competitors, making them stand out in the market. Nike has been successful in this regard, with a strong focus on the athlete and understanding their needs driving their innovations. As Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, explains, “Our success has been based on our commitment to innovation and great design, which really in our case starts with our commitment to the athlete – and really understanding the athlete and the insights we get from that relationship. So, we translate those insights into real innovation.” In China, Nike actively deploys a localized digital ecosystem to engage with its customers and understand their needs. In turn, the rich data gathered from these digital platforms continuously fuels its innovation and growth. 

Takeaway: Prioritize a human-centered approach that focuses on customer needs to create truly meaningful innovations. 

Building Innovative Organizations 

Indeed, innovation is not a department, but a collective achievement of an organization, as one innovation leader has told us. Companies should lead with a vision, encourage risk-taking, experimentation, and collaboration across all levels of the organization. This will help to create an environment where innovation can thrive and become ingrained in the company’s DNA. 

What can your company do today to turbocharge innovation? 

  1. Emphasize the importance of always-on consumer insights and deploy the right team and structure as enablement. 
  2. Ensure a holistic view of the market demand landscape, covering both consumers and competition and strategize growth moves and innovation efforts. 
  3. Build a multi-year roadmap with different chapters and cross-functional teams and land the detailed action plan in a short-term/ one-year plan. 
  4. Clarify how innovation initiatives drive business purpose, develop employee value propositions and define incentives accordingly. 
  5. Transform how your innovation team works within your organization to instill agility and collaboration. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Innovation and organizational resilience go hand-in-hand. Combined with investing in diverse innovation tactics, driving C-suite buy-in, and creating an organizational-wide innovation culture, businesses are more likely to be innovative and resilient, and become more likely to have greater financial success.  

Our research shows that Chinese companies excel in deploying innovation tactics compared to companies globally, however they also under-invest in building long-term resilience. It is crucial for them to close this gap in order to drive transformative growth that’s meaningful and sustainable. 

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On-Demand Webinar: Innovating Your Way to Business Resilience

You cannot predict when or from what direction disruption will come, but you can use innovation to build a resilient business. 

55 min

Given the turbulent global economy and widespread cutbacks, Prophet’s innovation team had some burning questions. What makes a business resilient–not just able to survive tough times but thrive?  

We intuitively believed there was a connection between innovation and resilience. But we wanted to know if others thought that, too. So, we talked to 300 senior global business leaders across 30+ industries. We learned that innovation and resilience are connected, and organizations that are both innovative and resilient are 2X more likely to exceed their financial targets and 3X more likely to create more shareholder value than their competitors.  

Download our latest research, Building Business Resilience Through Innovation, to learn how the most financially successful organizations innovate their way to business resilience.  

As we continue to unpack our findings, we’ve got plenty of new questions, which is why we recently invited a few innovation experts to join us for an on-demand webinar. Professor Jan-Erik Baars, who teaches industrial design at the Lucerne School of Business in Switzerland, and Chris Reinke, vice president of design and product development at Masonite, an industrial manufacturer. 

Below are a few key highlights from that discussion.  

Defining Innovation 

Innovation is “about solving the problems people care about,” saysReinke, who formerly directed design at Bose. “Innovation needs to be uniquely relevant, hard to copy and something your customers want to pay for.”  

But in hisexperience, many companies rely too much on their history and current knowledge. They’re reluctant to look far enough into the future to understand what might happen next. As a result, these companies tend to be slow to pivot and capture the next growth opportunity.  

“The viewpoint of the organization has a huge influence on its ability to be innovative and resilient,” says Baars. He spent nearly two decades in design at Philips. During his time there, he noticed that future casting was specifically assigned to the inventors of the organization, while business managers were limited to a much shorter horizon. 

“If you don’t allow an organization to open for larger and longer horizons, you will not have enough time and stamina to understand customer needs and respond accordingly to develop something truly meaningful,” Baars says. “You can’t sketch something out on a napkin and expect to have it ready next quarter.” 

Our research confirms that the most innovative companies are explicitly organized to innovate on multiple time horizons, simultaneously. They work hard to advance organizational capabilities. “They’re like successful musicians,” Baar says. “They’re dedicated, disciplined and committed. They stick to the plan, grow, learn and improve. “Layla Keramet, partner and EMEA head of Prophet’s Experience and Innovation practice, believes there are three tiers to innovation opportunity:  

  1. We are not using the existing technology, product or solution in a way that can improve our human condition, and there is an opportunity to optimize and make it better. 
  2. People are making a significant shift to a new type of product and service, therefore driving the demand for innovation. 
  3. The technology, product or solution doesn’t have use cases for today, but we think it will in a plausible future. 

Financially Thriving Companies Invest in a Diverse Range of Innovation Techniques

No matter which path companies are on, they can benefit from increasing the number of innovation tactics they use. Our research asked business leaders to identify which best-practice innovation techniques their organizations consistently rely on. Those that describe themselves as innovative and resilient use between five and six of these innovation techniques, on average. Companies that were neither innovative nor resilient used only 3.5. 

That surprised us, especially since these tactics are widely known in the innovation community and general business world. Baars, on the other hand, wasn’t shocked at all. 

“Most companies are dominated by management thinking,” he says. “They are very focused on output and time to market, even though that makes no difference to the consumer.” Yet that type of thinking tends to limit the variety and scope of innovation techniques. 

Becoming more innovative requires “a change in the culture so that these techniques can be introduced, accepted and deployed.”  

Innovation must be more than just a function. Building an innovation lab and detaching that group isn’t useful. “It’s like having a satellite with nothing to satellite around,” Baars says. “Innovation has to be a part of the core business.” 

Companies that aren’t sure where to begin should start small and build from there, advises Reinke. Look at products that have proven successful and ask, “How can we make them better? What does the future look like?” 

Masonite recently completed an activity with Prophet that looked to 2030. “We created a vision that enables us to walk back to the current day and understand where we are going with our product line,” says Reinke. “Now, we have a roadmap.” 

The C-Suite Must Have Skin in the Game

Through our research, we discovered that only 11% of senior leaders set and are accountable for their organization’s innovation agenda. That didn’t surprise Baars, “Most companies are dominated by people with MBAs. They’re not trained in the company’s primary activity, which is creating impact for customers. Very few have degrees such as a Master of Business Design, which trains people to understand the inherent uncertainties of design thinking and set innovation agendas.” 

“In many organizations, there is an over-representation of traditional business managers and an under-representation of designers and engineers,” Baars says. “So, they focus on driving operational excellence and efficiency, and not on creating an impact for customers.”  

Final thoughts 

Our recent research and conversations with innovation leaders demonstrate that an organization’sinnovative strengths correlate with its resilience, the kind of bounce-back flexibility all companies need to prosper in changing markets. As innovation leaders make their case for corporate support, they should enlist the involvement of the C-suite to spark new cultural thinking and organizational strategies. 

Get in touch with our innovation experts. 

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Introducing the Innovation Maturity Model for Financial Services

Prophet’s Innovation Maturity Model helps organizations establish and operate high-powered innovation engines.

Innovation – more and more –  is what every financial services company seeks as the primary means of driving growth. That’s true because innovation is increasingly what separates market leaders from also-rans.  

But for all the investments in innovation, most organizations struggle to generate the returns they’re looking for or produce the growth that innovation is supposed to unleash. For more on the barriers to innovation and – more importantly – how to get over them, read our recent research report, Winning the Innovation Game in Banking.) 

In the intensely competitive financial services sector, it is not enough to innovate every now and then. Rather the goal is to establish a rigorous practice of innovation and to make it a standard part of ongoing operations. The vision is to establish a high-performing innovation engine that continually identifies innovation opportunities, explores those ideas via prototyping and gated investments and efficiently moves meaningful innovations to market. Such a disciplined process is necessary to avoid the common pitfalls that make repeatable innovation an elusive target for many companies.  

Introducing… the Innovation Maturity Model 

To help banks, insurers, and investment managers industrialize their approach to innovation, Prophet created the innovation maturity model. This model helps organizations:  

  • Assess their own innovation capabilities and opportunities  
  • Identify the barriers – technological, process, human, cultural – inhibiting innovation 
  • Establish tangible innovation goals and actionable plans to overcome those barriers  
  • Define a roadmap to establishing repeatable innovation capabilities  

The innovation maturity model inspects five dimensions of the business that are critical to enabling innovation:  

  1. Strategy and Vision  
  2. Organization and Mechanics 
  3. Insights and Measurement 
  4. Culture, Behaviors and Rituals 
  5. Education and Enablement 

Within each of these areas, the model defines varying levels of maturity – beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced, expert – so organizations can understand where they are today and what to aim for tomorrow. For instance, an organization with expert-level capabilities in organization and mechanics would involve the entire enterprise in using innovation portfolios to drive strategic directions and decisions, with all employees aligned to the innovation strategy and with specific responsibilities to drive that strategy forward.  

In terms of education and enablement, beginner firms will be those that provide access to and funding for external training for dedicated innovation practitioners. Intermediate firms will have innovation teams in place to help drive behavioral change across the organization and support wider education efforts. At the expert level, innovation training and education will be a mandatory part of onboarding and learning and development programs, with continuously updated curricula and regular use of outside resources for insight and inspiration.  

The innovation maturity model reflects our market experience in terms of what works in driving breakthrough innovations. Further, it’s designed to establish cultures that prize risk-taking and experimentation and instill operational discipline relative to innovation. Such organizations are capable of both acting like a startup and investing like venture capital firms. As we highlight in our report, “Winning the Innovation Game in Banking”, it’s a matter of building a portfolio of innovation ideas based on deep customer insight and then rapidly testing and refining those ideas through pilots and MVP launches into the market.  

The Many Forms of Innovation 

Because innovation can take many forms, our innovation maturity model provides the core insights that can point the organization in the right long-term direction. To put the model into context, consider how the organizations below are evaluating the different ways to set up their innovation engines and flywheels.  

  • Allianz: An ‘Always On’ Dedicated Innovation Center: Allianz has launched dedicated innovation centers to engage a range of partners, including FinTechs, start-ups and firms in other sectors, to develop entirely new insurance solutions for specific industries, including travel and automotive. This looks like a winning strategy considering the pressure on insurers to innovate in the face of intensifying risks from climate change, relentless cyber threats and the growing protection and retirement savings gaps.  
  • JP Morgan Chase: A Condensed Annual Innovation Event:

    JP Morgan Chase fills its innovation pipeline in creative ways, too. It holds an annual Innovation Week, bringing together employees in more than 400 events focused on generating new applications for artificial intelligence, machine learning and other enabling technologies, while highlighting specific business issues, opportunities, and current technology trends. It also held a digital innovation competition to generate transformative ideas to enhance the client and advisor experience. Such broad-based approaches reinforce that innovation is part of everyone’s job.

  • Vanguard: A Culture of Innovation and Commitment to Outside Partnerships: In wealth and asset management, Vanguard has promoted a culture of innovation by empowering employees to drive meaningful change. Further, it’s working with partners, such as American Express, to develop new offerings that give customers increased flexibility.  


FINAL THOUGHTS

Prophet’s innovation maturity model helps organizations design the innovation engine they need based on their objectives, customer base, product set and cultures, as well as to establish the right operational model for repeatable innovation. For more insights, read our latest report Building Business Resilience with Innovation

We’d be delighted to speak with you regarding your firm’s innovation outlook and objectives and how our Innovation maturity model can help you achieve them. 

PODCAST

Bamboo Crowd | Faces of Innovation feat. Alex Moseman

38 min

Summary

Prophet’s Alex Moseman features on Bamboo Creative’s Faces of Innovation podcast. He shares his insights on the importance of building a sustainable, fundamental business around new innovation, as well as understanding how product decisions inform business outcomes.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify.


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Four Steps to Optimize Digital Product Creation

Whether you’re a B2B, B2C or DTC company, Prophet’s proprietary hypotheses-led approach to innovation takes product concepts from 0-1 efficiently and successfully.

Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. And many successful companies and products were started in times of an economic downturn, from the inception of Netflix in 1997 (now valued close to $100B) to that of Airbnb in 2008 when the Great Recession saw demand for short-term, low-commitment housing increase exponentially. However, when the stakes are high, the reality often is that the bets are fewer, there is less room for error and the need for more certainty of success goes up. You can’t simply take the old corporate RND approach to “Spray and Pray”, that one of your concepts will be market driving.   

Oftentimes, businesses will have identified a new opportunity area, market, audience or digital channel that looks potentially valuable for their growth. However, they are not at the point of concept definition and design to immediately hand it to internal development and product teams to begin to build. While they will have a concept of what they think would be valuable for customers, many businesses lack the evidence and detail of where they should invest first, what they should (or more importantly shouldn’t) build and in what order to deliver customer and business value quickly.  

Across all industries, B2B/B2C/B2B2C/DTC, and phases of company maturity, Prophet’s proprietary “Hypothesis to Action” (H2A) approach enables us to take product concepts from 0-1 successfully. It helps get from idea to minimum viable product (MVP) in the most efficient way possible; cutting through ambiguity and defining where to start at the minimum possible investment, with a clear direction of what is going to build traction in the market, reduce risk and increase the likelihood of a successful digital product that meets the true needs of customers.  

The H2A Model  

Leveraging our own learnings from decades of successfully shipping net-new products, we have optimized the most successful product creation engine of the past 15 years in the approach of Silicon Valley venture capital. The H2A model was created from years of work and insight and aims to provide cross-functional teams with a minimal structure to make better-informed digital product decisions and enhance design progress. It is comprised of four key stages: Hypotheses, Findings, Conviction and Actions – and in many instances we have executed the entire H2A process within two weeks.  

In one instance, a financial services client came to us with the desire to improve lead generation among prospective customers; the company had impressive loyalty among existing customers but struggled to attract net new to the business. Thus, formed the idea for a digital product, “a predictive profiler,” through which the business could predict and offer a tailored product mix and accompanying advice to its prospective customers based on user-provided information. With the problem-to-solve and initial idea in place, we were ready to begin cycles of H2A to take this idea from a concept on a page, to a user-validated, defined and designed MVP.  

Let’s take a closer look at each of the H2A stages in turn as we put it into practice with Thrivent.

1. Generate Hypotheses

Hypotheses are critical assumptions you are making about your product or idea, articulated as a testable premise. Most often, the riskiest assumption you are betting on at the start of product innovation is simply that your idea is in fact solving a problem or addressing the needs of your target user.

Taking the example of the financial services company, we were assuming that prospects would be more likely to convert if guided to the right product mix and provided tailored advice. We took that overarching assumption and broke it into more specific hypotheses to answer specific questions, starting with what is the right “way in” to lead prospects to a recommended set of products. Our hypothesis: Rather than answering generic questions, users will prefer to self-select into different archetypes, then answer more specific questions to achieve greater levels of personalized results. We quickly designed a lightweight test to prove this, balanced by business ambitions.  

2. Extract Findings

After rapidly testing the hypotheses in real-world situations, often sourcing feedback from real customers or users, we build an evidence-filled set of findings. These findings are observed truths made in a test that repeats across more than one participant or scenario.  

In our example, we found that we were, in fact, correct. Presented with four different potential “ways in” to kick off the user flow, the majority of prospects preferred to self-select into an archetype group, then answer more specific follow-up questions to deliver tailored results, citing a desirable balance of entertainment (perusing the archetypes) with the rigor of analysis of more targeted questions. Luckily, this user-led finding coincided nicely with the business ambitions of strong data collection (questions) with minimal PII risk (leading to self-selection).  

3. Form Convictions

Our findings are swiftly synthesized into convictions that form the basis of the new product. These convictions are the “so what” – product declarations, informed by findings, that become product decisions to be taken forward into design.  

Because user feedback conveniently converged with business needs, convictions for this H2A cycle for our financial services client were clear: the optimal “way in”, from both a user experience and business POV, is to lead with archetypes followed by questions to inform the product mix recommendation.  

4. Determine Actions

All of this comes together to form the specific actions to move the team forward in designing and defining the user value proposition.  

With our client, in closing out this cycle of H2A, we determined that the next best action for the predictive financial services product was to play out a complete interaction model across archetypes and questions, exploring means to delight the user with feedback/findings along the way to encourage completion of the full experience.  

We repeated the H2A cycle across a series of six two-week sprints, through which we tested, learned, adjusted, and optimized the product until we reached a fully defined and designed MVP, backed by user data and aligned to business priorities, ready to enter development. Ultimately, when launched in the market, the product achieved 12X the conversion rate of previous lead gen campaigns within the business, evidencing the power and speed of hypotheses-led innovation in driving high-impact products at the minimum possible investment.   

The H2A approach has led to the successful launch of B2C, B2B and B2B2C products and services in everything from home goods to healthcare. At its core, the value lies in its ability to find a way to start small, learn quickly and launch successfully. By unearthing the riskiest early assumptions that might be being made – and proving or disproving those rapidly with data-driven evidence – when the product does go live its chances for success will be that much greater and the path to scalability that much clearer.  


FINAL THOUGHTS

When resources are limited and risk tolerance is low, you need to move at pace through evidence-led decisions to get to market quickly. Product market fit is never guaranteed, but our methodical approach continues to drive customer and business success regardless of industry.

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3 Ways to Out-Innovate the Downturn 

Prioritizing innovation is key to unlocking sustainable growth – particularly in turbulent times – and enabling this requires a new level of collaboration. 

Collaboration inspires innovation. It fuels growth and accelerates transformation. Yet with so many eyes focused on the turbulent economy, companies are losing sight of innovation’s value. As fear infuses corporate conversations, many are already using the uncertainty to justify putting innovation efforts on hold. They shift from finding new sources of growth to focusing on ways to shrink–what projects to mothball? Which budgets to cut? Which workers to eliminate? 

That short-sightedness is a mistake. History has shown us, again and again, that companies that move into head-down defensiveness miss out on the rich opportunities that downturns create. Competitors change course. Customer behavior shifts. Old needs fade, and new ones arise.  

Unless companies actively seek ways to boost innovation, collaborating throughout the organization to enrich new and better experiences, they’re missing out on transformative possibilities. Past recessions have given us innovative new companies and operating models, from the sharing economy to the crypto craze. And companies that look for new ways to grow, expand and transform consistently outperform the batten-down-the-hatches crowd. 

It takes collaborative muscle. Our recent research shows that companies can systematically build that strength. And those that do are more productive, finding relevant solutions that aren’t just novel but also high-impact and potentially transformative. 

Three places to begin right now are: 

1. Prioritize Customer Journeys, Not Functions or Departments 

Getting teams to work well beyond their silos isn’t a new problem. But it’s taken on outsized urgency as companies see themselves constantly outflanked by category disruptors. Departmental boundaries serve a role but also thwart flexibility, speed and innovative potential. They slow transformation. And the bad news is that our research shows hybrid workplaces are even worse at collaborative efforts. 

In most companies, people are still primarily evaluated and compensated on functional and departmental key performance indicators. Their work is often not even in alignment with organizational goals. Because there’s no formal or systematic recognition for interdepartmental teams, efforts fizzle out. In addition, customers continue to face disjointed products and services. They feel like they’re dealing with one brand in customer service or marketing but a completely different one in operations or sales. 

Solving this problem doesn’t necessarily require sweeping organizational changes. Companies can move toward this type of change starting with small pods, giving them a clear focus and the agency to test and prove new collaborative models.  

The more touchpoints and complexity a product or service contains, the more critical this step becomes. Prophet recently worked with a large purpose-driven financial services company, which wanted to provide better tools, programs and support for its financial advisors. It also wanted to ensure that each new offer and channel conveyed its purpose, whether it was a young family looking for a first insurance policy or older consumers focused on estate planning. Using a “pods and squads” model, we helped the company build small cross-functional teams focused on core customer needs. Viewing that work within the context of the company helped create a model that it could scale throughout the organization and overcome internal friction by finding a more seamless approach for advisors and end customers. 

Where to Start:  

Think small, with concrete and specific projects. While the ultimate goal might be to organize cross-functional teams for each segment of the company’s audience, individual pilots are more practical than ripping out all the plumbing. Create goals and objectives, restructuring KPIs around jobs to be done. This works by creating small wins, fueling the collaborative mindset. 

2. Maximize Principles, Minimize Process 

Truly collaborative organizations–not surprisingly, the most innovative–are powered by principles. It’s not that they don’t have rules and decision matrices to govern how work is done–they do. It’s just that they have overriding principles and values that are more important. These principles provide clarity and direction in ways process guidelines can’t. 

Google’s 20% Project is one of the most famous examples and has led the company to such innovations as Gmail and Google Maps. Others have turned similar side-project principles into ventures like Slack and Twitter.  

When principles guide companies, they become social norms–more potent than rule-based ways to make decisions. But there’s an art to settling on the correct principles. Too often, they’re vague, benign and become something tacked up on the office wall, like “Be nice” or “Listen to others.” 

Fluffy platitudes aren’t enough – principles must provide enough depth and structure to feel relevant and contextual. They should inform people as they consider, “What’s right for this company? This brand? In this moment?” And they further a company’s purpose, emphasizing simplicity, adaptability and sustainability. 

When there are rules, people cooperate. When there are principles, they collaborate–but they must find common ground between themselves, their colleagues and the company. Prophet’s Collaboration Flywheel Model™️ helps leaders and organizations move toward an environment that is sustainable and delivers more impactful outcomes faster over time 

For example, our recent work with CVS Kidney Care focused on translating its “culture of courage” into innovations to help millions of people suffering from kidney disease. We established principles for how the group wanted to work as a team, how to communicate, and how to share information.  

Our teams supported CVS Kidney Care in translating those goals into principles required to completely disrupt the kidney-care universe. Using two-week agile sprints to break down silos, we helped it focus on patient, caregiver and provider priorities. The result? A truly transformed experience for kidney patients, delivering personalized, seamless care with less time away from home and work–and improved health outcomes. 

Where to Start:  

Focus on team autonomy and team charters. Positioning these as the first steps in building team dynamics often makes a natural step to developing or redefining the Employee Value Proposition. The EVP can and should distill these ideas, connecting principles to brand promise. This kind of collaboration leads to EVPs that intersect beautifully with an organization’s overall purpose and each part of the company, from experience and innovation teams to brand and culture specialists. 

3. Play with Prototypes, Not Presentations 

If pictures are worth a thousand words, prototypes are worth a thousand user stories. People learn best by doing, so involving people throughout the organization in play sessions that let them roll up their sleeves will lead to more innovative and effective solutions than yet another 90-page PowerPoint. Embedding a maker mentality stimulates constructive conversation about new ideas, which are often hard to share and explain. 

Put simply, doing uncovers more wisdom than thinking. 

And yes, we get that it’s challenging to convince a C-suite focused on cutbacks and retrenching to step up their commitment to play. But it’s a crucial ingredient. Play opens people’s minds, facilitating new ways of thinking and doing. We often use Lego’s Serious Play in workshops to help people better connect their brains’ right and left sides. This co-creation opens collaborators’ minds, giving them a better sense of what is and isn’t possible. 

Iteratively building–testing and playing in this way–gets organizations to more efficient learning and definition. 

Adults aren’t good at it. The famous Spaghetti Marshmallow Tower is one of our favorite examples. When given a marshmallow, some dry spaghetti, tape and the instructions to build the tallest tower in 18 minutes, those with MBAs perform miserably. They assume there is a single best approach. They over-analyze. They jockey for power. As they run out of time, they realize their towers can’t support a marshmallow. 

Those that do best? Kindergartners. Their sturdy towers are taller and more varied–precisely because they prototype every step of the way.  

This playfulness solves another problem: Not all people in organizations perceive collaboration in the same way. Enthusiasm, and the perception of effectiveness and value of collaboration, vary by department and across regions. Why not make it more enjoyable? 

We recently did a project for a healthcare company that wanted to extend its reach among small and mid-sized medical practices. These providers offer excellent care but often lack the marketing resources of large practices. 

Before we started building things, we developed a series of interactive prototypes. Many people from departments as diverse as risk, compliance, finance and operations had the chance to play with the different options. They poked and prodded, turning solutions upside down. 

When a roomful of people hears remarks like, “This approach is more engaging, but it would mean we’d have to change X or Y to implement it,” there’s less friction between departments–everyone can see why collaboration is better. It highlights what is most valuable to the end user and why. 

Where to Start:  

Rapid prototyping doesn’t have to be elaborate. It should begin with sketching on paper. It should be dirty, ugly and fun. Exercises like mash-up innovation, how-now-wow and bad-idea brainstorms can be light exercises to generate initial concepts. Service storyboards and mood boards help and so does writing a make-believe press release for a hypothetical launch. Anything that involves the team in different ways to communicate ideas is helpful. 

Check out our most recent research – Building Business Resilience Through Innovation


FINAL THOUGHTS

Effective collaboration is essential in order to increase the pace and quality of innovation efforts across the organization. It is also one of the most meaningful aspects of employee engagement and personal growth. And that personal growth – learning new skills, extending networks and increased productivity – translates to the entire organization, helping enterprise goals to be achieved more quickly. In down markets, prioritizing collaboration gives companies an innovative advantage and delivers new and different sources of growth.

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