Measuring Possibilities: Innovation and Strategic Planning

When we talk about strategic planning or innovation in an organization, we are essentially talking about possibilities, or something that can happen.  Some people might suggest that these are dreams and passing fantasies to mulled and others might suggest that one should pursue every possibility with vigor, regardless of the risk and consequences. 

Either route could prove to be distasteful; on one hand, doing nothing is safe, but unfulfilling for most people.  On the other hand, chasing every possibility tends to end badly.  So, as an entrepreneur, what does one do?  It seems that there should be some method of weighing and measuring possibilities to try to determine what makes sense.  In other words, how do we determine what is truly possible versus what might be impossible?

Every possibility begins with an idea.  How do we measure the strength of an idea?

The answer is often in the way that we look at the organization.  If we have an understanding of the organization � why it exists and what it hopes to accomplish, we can evaluate a possibility from the onset: does this possibility serve the company�s mission and will it help to reach the vision?  If yes, then it�s got a leg to stand on.  If not, you might consider weighing out some other ideas.

Another question to ask is whether you have the resources to support the idea.  This might be a typical scenario:

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Company ABC  has a sales force automation tool that happens to be outstanding.  However, there are a million of them on the market, and they recognize this.  They feel that their real advantage in the marketplace is that their on-demand solution offers XXX, a cutting-edge technology.  The problem with the technology is that it is so new to the marketplace that they have to educate people on how to use it, and what the benefits of it are.  This will require extensive cold calling, event development, etc..  They are running out of money and time.  What do they do?  What is possible?  Can they do whatever they do, and do it in a way that will continue developing their brand, rather than taking away from it?

We�ve seen the results of companies launch products or services prematurely, and the damage it causes a brand or organization.  Ensure the resources at hand are appropriate for the task will most likely mean the difference between success and failure.  This is more than just capital, this includes manpower, the ability to fully develop it, test it, package it, price it appropriately, market it, launch it and continue to develop and tweak it as different scenarios are uncovered.  While doing something is better than doing nothing at all, doing it poorly can result in drastic consequences.

This is a first in a series on the topic of measuring possibilities.  As always, we welcome your comments and questions

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

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