There Are 3 Ways To Innovate, But Only One Can Win The Future

1. Getting Better At What You Already Do

Every year, Apple comes up with a new iPhone. That’s not as exciting as it used to be, but it’s still key to the company maintaining its competitive edge. Every model is a bit faster, more secure and has new features that make it more capable. It’s still an iPhone, but better.

2. Applying What You’re Already Good At To A Different Context

Amazon started out selling books online. It then applied its approach to other categories, such as electronics and toys. That took enormous investments in technology, which it then used to create new businesses, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kindle tablets and its Echo line of smart speakers.

3. Finding A Completely New Problem To Solve

Besides getting better at what you already do and applying things you already know to a different market or capability, you can also look for a new problem to solve. Clearly, this the most uncertain type of opportunity, because no one knows what a good solution will look like.

The 70–20–10 Rule

Go to any innovation conference and you will find no shortage of debates about what type of approach creates the most value, usually ending with no satisfying conclusion. The truth is that every organization needs to improve what they already do, search for opportunities in adjacencies and explore new problems. The key is how you manage resources.

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