Strategic alignment and innovation can coexist
When companies are pressing boldly into the future – which has become a default posture for many businesses in the present, high-speed business climate – this momentum can come at the expense of strategic alignment. However, unless everyday business efforts and overall strategy are brought closer, companies may struggle financially. Strategy& recently addressed this issue. (Sep. 20, Staack)
Innovation models that allow more stakeholders into the process, drawing inspiration and insights from all departments, tend to cause less strategic misalignment than traditional, research-and-development-driven projects.
It's especially important to make sure the individuals tasked with determining the company's strategic direction have some input and visibility. If these leaders only get involved at the latest stages of a new idea's development, the fresh concept may be completely out of line with the business's long-term objectives.
The gap between strategic priorities and on-the-ground execution can potentially shrink every time the innovation team becomes more open and inclusive, stretching beyond departmental boundaries. Innovation's role as the engine of business today means that it must be conducted out in the open. When a new flagship product or service is the idea being iterated upon, input from customers and external stakeholders may further improve strategic alignment.
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