Innovation strategies have evolved from a nice-to-have to an imperative for businesses.
New players entering an industry, changing consumer tastes, or political movements necessitate that companies have one eye on the present and another on how future scenarios may play out. This way, businesses not only understand potential disruptive changes but are ready to respond to them.
An innovation model should cover all aspects from strategy to execution, and the innovation blueprint should empower an organization to have a single point of truth for all their innovation activities. This allows innovation architects to clearly define goals, see which stakeholders are needed, and create a structured approach to the innovation journey.
In this article, we take a step back and take a closer look at environmental scanning and why it is a key consideration for any organization that takes innovation seriously. By reiterating its importance as a critical starting point to developing a company’s foresight & strategy capabilities, we look at how environmental scanning matters, and what capabilities are needed to effectively understand - and respond to - your changing business landscape.
The Control Objectives for Innovation Management Framework (COFIM) is a model which aims to define what capabilities are required in your innovation journey. Utilized by companies across sectors with proven results, COFIM helps businesses understand where to play in their given field, how to win, as well as how to execute their innovation objectives.
The first element - "where to play," is a critical component of developing foresight and strategy through realistic scenario planning. By understanding emerging players in one’s field, shifts in other business environments, and competitor behavior, businesses can anticipate forces of change and determine which opportunity areas they can target with the most efficacy.
Having the capacity to scan the core and peripheral landscape consistently comprehensively is the first of the 20 steps in the COFIM framework.
At ITONICS, we believe our Insights tool optimizes the Environmental Scanning process by using machine intelligence to scan millions of verified sources, enabling innovation teams to detect weak signals easier and quicker.
ITONICS Insights incorporates natural language processing (NLP) technology, scanning millions of news feeds, research papers and patent data for relevant keywords, coherently organizing data using our custom tagging feature. For teams wanting a granular understanding of where the weak signals are coming from and which sector they predominate, ITONICS Insights can segment information by geography and industry. In this way, the ITONICS Insights tool relieves innovation departments of the strenuous, time-consuming process of manual data mining but instead empowers innovation practitioners to prioritize what they do best: find the magic.
Here’s a three-step approach that teams can use to better augment their Environmental Scanning ability:
The ITONICS Innovation Software helps organizations to take their innovation management to the next level. If you want to learn more, visit our product overview or get a free trial of our software.