What’s Different About Tactical Innovation
By Robert Goldberg
Tactical innovation is a game of singles, not home runs. It’s about adapting to changes on the field and knowing where and how to leverage existing capabilities and competencies to better align players (products) to changing game conditions (market environment and competition) to achieve success. It’s not measured in seasons (years), although the effects can be long-term, but rather in games (fiscal cycles), the timeframe coaches and managers (product managers) live by. The game is driven by a bid, a competitive battle or a market event, such as consolidation or new technology entry.
At MIDIOR, our focus is on what we call “tactical innovation” where we help product and sales organizations successfully adapt their products and business models to changing conditions, emerging opportunities, and threats. To get an idea of where tactical innovation may help, take a close look at IBM’s Watson, a cognitive computing system that is poised to disrupt many industries (See IBM Watson). If you think your business is immune to disruption from cognitive computing, think again. As a product manager or strategic leader you should ask yourself, “Can I envision how Watson will affect my customers? Am I ready to compete in a world that has been disrupted by this platform? Do I know where to start to maintain my position?” Tactical innovation tools enable product organizations to adjust their tactics in immediate support of business operations. In some instances tactical innovation may look no further than existing customers or adjacent markets or within current platforms and product formats. Although there’s a time and place for organizations to think strategically about innovation, we’ve seen time and time again that it is product and sales teams with a tactical innovation mindset that meet growth targets on a consistent basis.