Staving Off Maturity: Strategic Innovation

An Executive Viewpoint

Staving off Maturity: Strategic Innovation

Introduction

We have all heard the adage “If a business isn’t growing, it’s dying.” Paradoxically, the challenge of maintaining business growth is often the greatest for those organizations that seem to have the most strength and longevity: the mature, successful companies that have well-established brands and strong cultures, the efficient operators and creators of best practices, and those enterprises with well established market positions and predictable profits. To stave off maturity, businesses must rely on strategic innovation.

Every business model has a life cycle that starts with a launch phase, moves through a period of rapid growth and ends up in a mature phase with a much slower growth rate than previously enjoyed. In eras past, it may have been possible for a business to coast through its mature stage and continue to generate reasonable profits. However, in the modern day of rapid technological advancement, significant amounts of change are needed for a business to simply maintain current performance.  Companies that do not engage in strategic innovation—i.e., proactive efforts to continuously reinvent themselves and create new, breakthrough approaches—are relegating themselves to sure obsolescence and demise.

Strategic innovation, however, is easier said than done for the corporation that perfected the formula for success in their industry. The very same factors that allowed them to thrive in their current, mature (and potentially dying) markets are the very things that can prevent them from being successful in creating a fresh start on the business life cycle through a new business model.

Cecilia Edwards

Cecilia Edwards
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