In order to develop a corporate- or an innovation strategy, a thorough analysis of both the internal and external context of an organization is required.
The external environment of most organizations are dynamic and sometimes hostile. Often there are many developments, trends that are not always easy to identify, but these can lead to a major disruption of your industry and your organization. This applies to both the macro and meso levels. What do you think of Big Data, Artifical Intelligence, Internet of Thing, circular economy, industry disruption by a new player with an innovative business model and stricter laws and regulations. Enough threats, but fortunately also many new opportunities.
But where should your focus be?
In practice, organizations often develop solutions that respond to one external development. And with LEAN Startup, it is developed quickly and introduced to the market with a little "luck". This can of course lead to positive results in the short term in whatever form, but do these solutions fit within the mission and vision of the organization? Do these solutions fit within the strategy of the organization and the portfolio? This can lead to panic football and perhaps putting out fires in the short term. And developing new products, services and business models for all developments is not feasible. After all, every organization has limited resources and competences.
In the "classic" strategy approach, for example, an innovation manager, strategist or marketing manager is responsible for a strategic analysis of both the internal and external context where external developments are expressed in opportunities and threats and the capabilities of the organization in strengths and weaknesses. This is often processed in a SWOT and confrontation matrix. One or more core issues are distilled from the confrontation matrix for which the organization seeks solutions, strategic options. Now this process is sometimes called into question, but it has great value, is widely used in practice and there are (still) no real alternatives.
The danger associated with the "classic" strategy approach is that the external context is usually analyzed by one person! This is also a person who is not always able to identify all developments and assess their value. This can cause a distorted view. His judgment can have a major impact on the realization of the core issues and the effect thereof!
In fact, it is assumed that one person has the expertise of your entire organization in terms of analyzing the external context.
Our trend watching solution is a campaign where all employees or, if desired, other stakeholders within your ecosystem can describe developments that may affect your organization. These can be developments that are seen as an opportunity or a threat. In addition, it can be indicated whether the organization has a strength or a weakness to respond to an opportunity (positive development) or to manage a threat (negative development) properly. Finally, it can be indicated when the development in question reaches its peak, the time factor.
It can also be indicated to which area (aspect) a development relates. PESTEL is often used at the macro level. You can define the areas yourself.
The employees have the capability to assess each other's developments through liking and giving feedback.
On the left you will find sample reports of the developments that have been shared by your employees and are shown per aspect in a spider diagram.
In addition, you quickly understand which developments can become the most important in the coming 10 years!
Multiple variants are possible for the use of the trend watching solution. Contact us to discuss the options.
This approach ensures that your employees are actively involved in analyzing developments. The collective intelligence of your organization is used that goes further than only blindly turning to the expertise of one person.
You will gain insight into the areas, aspects, of most opportunities and threats in the external environment. You can also compare this with the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. This creates excellents insights for strategic focus. You can also pay extra attention to developments that are best assessed by the employees themselves.
You can now develop solutions to the most important strategic issues of your organization where you can rely on the collective intelligence of your organization.
Our trend watching solution can be fully adapted to your business issue. For example, the areas / aspects for the analysis can also be adjusted, because environmental analysis can of course also take place at e.g. division or department level.