Every organisation, large or small has had to mobilise rapidly in some way to respond to the pandemic and current economic challenges. For some this has brought an opportunity for growth. For many this has challenged their very existence. Most are now fully preoccupied with how best to serve their customers, find and support their staff and adapt their operating models. The risk is that as organisations move into the renewal phase of their strategies, opportunities to drive even greater future resilience or profitable growth are missed.
Over twenty years of working in research and innovation roles has shown us the benefits of carving time out of even the most hectic of schedules to research, ideate and plan ahead for market change. Here’s why you still need to make space on your agenda for creativity and innovation to ensure you stay relevant:
The world has changed - And many of these changes will be long lasting. For example, changing travel patterns and the desire for more sustainable travel are have a lasting impact on many sectors from aviation and education to the biotech, hospitality and cultural sectors. For many this means adapting to the needs of new domestic customers or adapting services to meet new requirements. It will be vital to research these new ‘local’ customers’ needs and invest the time in developing products or services that they will want to buy or use.
Priorities have changed – Governments have signalled their desire to put environmental sustainability, energy security, digital public services and inclusion at the heart of their renewal agendas, using legislation to drive this where necessary. And households have signalled their desire to do things differently whether this is to work at home more, move to the country (or to another country) or use a more sustainable form of transport. These drivers bring challenge, for example to meet new legislation, but also opportunity. Horizon scanning and bespoke research can inform your response and ground it in hard data. How you proactively take advantage of these trends, rather than react to them, will reduce your organisation’s risk and further build resilience.
The way we work has changed – driven by necessity, remote and fragmented teams have done a great job in making decisions and pivoting operations on shorter time scales. But not everything that has been implemented will be working optimally. Taking time to review lessons learned, benchmark any improvements, and share these with all your stakeholders will ensure you get the best out of your recent investments of time and resource.
It will help your bottom line - Research has shown that more than 25% of revenue and profits of companies come from new products (and up to 30% in the top performing companies). This requires forward planning and commitment but carving out some time on your agenda for this can pay dividends.
This is a good time to get extra support – Funding for innovation has been made available through UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) via the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and other competitions in areas as diverse as next generation services and food production. And the government has increased capital allowances to enable businesses to invest more tax free. This funding and tax relief can you help access specialist support to develop your ideas, build a business case and share the risk of development.
To find out how we can help contact us firstname.lastname@example.org