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Growth through innovation - Three steps towards innovation - EY - Global

Innovating for growth: a spiral approach to business model innovation

Three steps towards innovation

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Company size is no longer important - small players grab market share in niche areas.

It's difficult to be innovative in a world where competition comes at you from all sides.

Companies from emerging markets are coming up with breakthrough products and services all the time. Size is no longer important as small players grab market share in niche areas.

Engaged customers, aided by social media, are changing traditional research and development. Yet the spiral approach is a robust process for innovation that can provide both flexibility and structure for companies of all types.

Our research found that these three tactics are essential for the spiral approach to work, as they help companies quickly progress from generating ideas to implementing them:

  1. Get ideas from everywhere. “Having as many ideas as humanly possible, no matter where they come from, is a critical ingredient to thinking, to ideating,” says the vice president of a US-based maker of clothing, apparel and climbing gear.
  2. Learn to fail. As Navi Radjou, leading innovation expert and co-author of Jugaad Innovation, notes, “The best way to experiment is to fail fast, fail cheap and fail often. If you fail fast and online in real time, you can get quick feedback and improve.”
  3. Go to market even if you are not ready. “It’s very easy to come up with new ideas and become obsessed with them — what the product is, how it can be perfected — rather than concentrating on getting it out to market,” says Waibochi of Virtual City. “You have to get to market quickly, even if it’s only 90% done.”

Making these strategies integral to your company sets the stage for an innovation-based approach to business. Our research has shown that standout performers thrive in hard times, mastering a volatile environment by focusing on the drivers of competitive success."2

Innovating with these drivers can set your business firmly on the path to growth.


2 Growing Beyond: how high performers are competing for growth in difficult times, EY, 2011.

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EY - Growth through innovation - A spiral approach to business model innovation

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  • Maria Pinelli
    Global Vice Chair
    Strategic Growth Markets
    +44 (0) 207 980 0960

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