Innovation is the key to growth. Intensive global competition, small economic growth, and saturated markets all present new challenges for many industries and businesses. It is becoming increasingly difficult to retain or expand market shares. Funding innovations should be implemented as the central element of the business strategy in order to ensure sustainable competitiveness and growth.

Challenges

The aim of an effective growth strategy is the development of specific competencies and skills allow the company to scope out market potentials, and satisfy customer needs, thereby differentiating itself from its competition. For this purpose, it is essential not only to look for potential innovations on the product level but also to consider offers, customer contact, distribution, processes, organization, and business models.

Implementation

In order to take the first step towards identifying growth and innovation potentials, it is necessary to study market conditions and internal business factors holistically. On the one hand, these include customer analysis, competitive analysis, and analysis of developments in existing and adjacent markets. On the other hand, it is necessary to comprehensively assess structures, processes, resources, and skills within the business. The combination of both views results in a long list of possible approaches that represent starting points for strategy development.

Growth segments are prioritized and innovation strategies are derived based on prior assessment. Central issues include: Which markets and business segment should be focused on? On which level should innovations be pushed? How can the innovative capacity be enhanced within the entire company?

In order to effectively implement the strategy, it is necessary to align the organizational culture, processes, and resources to the strategic goals while ensuring a certain degree of versatility and flexibility with regard to prospective changes in external circumstances. A successful implementation is enabled and goals can be readjusted as required by means of appropriate controlling instruments.

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