As many will remember, the late 90s and early 00s were exciting times. With the internet booming (or bubbling as you may say), new business development and business model innovation were “in”, not only at start ups, but also at large corporations, such as Shell, where I worked at the time. Together with me tens of people from different areas of the company, received the opportunity to work together with the Shell Gamechanger to develop new ideas for the internet. We went into sessions to learn about new business model innovation, so we could create great new ideas.
And some great new ideas came out. After being judged by a high level executive committee, several ideas were approved, and some even received funding. Unfortunately, not many of the ideas were ultimately implemented. Some moved on to further development, but many were lost in the process.
There are several reasons why great radical ideas do not get implemented.
Does this sound familiar to you? Well, many companies face this challenge. When asked, executives general state two issues about business innovation: either their front end is not working: they produce only few or no real great ideas; or their back end fails: they have various great ideas, but they are not able to implement them. The first issue is much spoken about, but the second requires just as much, if not more attention.
There are several reasons that great radical ideas do not get implemented. Some ideas are de-prioritized, due to short term, more urgent, goals and then, unfortunately, forgotten. Some other ideas get “lost” in consolidation: seeing the potentially of the idea, the idea is integrated with other, also very promising ideas. But, by becoming too big, these ideas needed bigger budgets, higher level decision making and this way many just got stalled. Individually, they might have moved on, but as an integrated whole, they were not prioritized. Furthermore, there is the human resource issue.
Often, business modelers have their daily jobs, and although passionate about innovation, people need real time (not 5-10%!) for implementation of a new model. Last, but certainly not least, some ideas require radical changes in the company’s infrastructure. And this will find the biggest resistance.
In the end it is all interconnected: if your back end is not prepared, great ideas will be quickly de-prioritized in the front end of innovation and therefore will not even be heard in the organization. And even if they are prioritized, they will get stuck immediately, because the company does not have the knowledge, the processes, the resources or the infrastructure required to bring radical new ideas to implementation.
Implementing radically new ideas is quite different than implementing incremental ideas. It requires:
Consistently preparing your company for implementation is more important than many executives think. Several other key elements can be mentioned. What are to you the crucial elements to successfully implement new businesses and new business models in a consistent manner?