Transformational innovations seem obvious once they’re seen through the rear-view mirror. It’s only when you have to look at the blank, open road of possibilities in front of you that developing innovative new ideas seems a tad more difficult!

Take Starbucks, for example, with its high-quality, high-price coffee and the idea of a ‘third place’ for people to meet, work and socialize. Of course, you might tell yourself, that was always an idea that would succeed. But, back in the early1990s, could you honestly envisage truck drivers paying £2.50 or more for a coffee, let alone the concept of a chain of thousands of branded coffee shops across the world?

In other words, truly innovative business ideas are hard to come by. We need all the help we can get. In my new e-book, How To Be An Innovation Leader, I set out five different sources of innovation ideas and how you can work with these sources to create new, exciting and innovative growth ideas.

The five sources are:

  1. Focus on what won’t change: What are the customer needs and preferences that will remain constant over the next decade that you can focus on to drive new growth?
  2. Exploit the unexpected: What are the surprise successes and failures that you or your competitors are facing, and how can you exploit those events to drive new growth?
  3. Steal, don’t imitate: What ideas can you transfer from other markets and industries and bring into your own?
  4. Mind the gaps: What are the frustrations and compromises that your – and your competitors’ –customers have to accept to buy and use your products and services?
  5. Stick to your strategic essence: What products and services would you offer, and what changes to your operating model would you deliver, if you focused exclusively on extending and strengthening your strategic advantages?

Want to find out more? Download my new e-book, How To Be An Innovation Leader, where you can learn how to bring each of these five innovation sources to life in your business.

© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.