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The innovation thesis. It’s a sort of vision statement with a focus on creativity. Businesses create innovation theses that describe the ideas and market focus that they want to pursue, typically over a five year outlook. The thesis briefly summarizes the philosophy of the business for making decisions about which ideas to research, which companies to invest, and which technologies to acquire. The thesis sets up the guidelines for what the company will and will not do to achieve innovation.
Josh Barry of Econic, said that “choosing where to direct your innovation, and what you hope to accomplish, is one of the most vital parts of your innovation strategy.”
Before developing the innovation thesis, it is important to take stock in the business and its current portfolio, and to objectively evaluate where the company is relative to the rest of the market and which parts of the business are growing, and which are in decline. It is important to identify gaps and to evaluate the future potential of the current product portfolio.
The second step is to look around and see where your competitor of today are at and also what they are up to. Current trends that may impact your business in the future should also be evaluated. Are their startups in your business space? What are they doing and what problems are they trying to address?
Very often the change around you and your business is being driven by developments in technology. A survey by Fortune magazine found that three-quarters of Fortune 500 CEOs are worried primarily about being able to keep pace with changes in technology, like artificial intelligence.
Joseph Beckley, vice president of Innovation at Fusion92, wrote that “being a true innovator is much greater than just simply improving on something that came before, it’s the creation of something new that defines the unknown. True innovation is measured by the impact that a company has on a market, an industry, the consumer and our lives. It defines the leaders and the followers in the world we live in.”