Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Silver Lining....

Recession, hyperinflation, stagflation, economic downturn, liquidity crunch, rate hikes, budget optimization, cost cutting, increment minimization, stock market crash, loan defaults, frozen assets, price corrections, declining demand, over supply, margin pressure, rising oil prices, climbing delinquencies, accelerating rentals, sub prime crash, declining valuations, price corrections, dropping sales.................

It's been a fairly eventful ninety days for the global economy. In these stimulating times, I posted a question on Linkedin enquiring " Is there ever a recession period for innovation?" It was a fairly unanimous response as would be expected.
The underlying theme was in the need for organizations to constantly inculcate and catalyze an innovation culture.

However the key challenge remains in how an organization can allocate resources and investments in non-proven "innovations" when the chips are down. A few thoughts that I have on the same when the chips are down ....

a. Get out of the Board Room : Often notice that more meetings are called during the downturn. It may help to spend some time with your customers. An unexpected dialogue can often result in a new economic value equation

b. Back to Basics : It's not very surprising that a large portion of your customers have forgotten some key benefits or propositions of your offerings. A little repackaging, new medium or an alternate channel might just do the trick!

c. The Core : Review and be open to redefining your core competencies, re-evaluate your core strengths and recognizing the latent value of your assets.

d. Partnerships & Speed : Leverage shared services platforms and white labeling options for introduction of new services. Evolve performance based cost models, if required to protect your outflows and ensure incremental margins.

These models would enable you to minimize your cost outflows and investments, yet allowing you to generate incremental value!

e. Change Currency : Barter can be your new currency, give it a thought.....

Will leave the rest for the innovation experts............

1 comment:

Kalyan Akkipeddi said...

Hi Upendra,

This is an interesting post. I believe that recession is the time, the results of innovation become more obvious. "innovation" should be driven to become an integral part of culture. What you call an evolving habit on a sunny day, others call a new paradigm on a rainy day!
I am sure you would have heard Tom Davenport's interview (HBR Ideacast) about Google's innovation culture. Just in case, please listen to episode 88, http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu/b02/en/misc/ideacast/archives_hbrideacast.jhtmlu