I believe innovation can only work to its full potential if it is aligned with an overall corporate strategy. Many companies mess up here. They simply do not have an innovation strategy. Companies have marketing or sales strategies, but only very few have an innovation strategy.
What should an innovation strategy look like? It can come in many different forms as it needs to reflect the company itself. Due the obvious reason mentioned above, I have a hard time finding cases on this, but I definitely like the Innovation Intent created by Grundfos, one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers.
Check out this description:
At Grundfos we have successfully achieved many of our targets and therefore we have recently reviewed our long-term business perspective by trying to look 15-20 years ahead.
This led to the statement of the Grundfos Innovation Intent. It represents a guiding star that will bring focus to our long-term innovation efforts and make sure the company is heading in the right direction. The Innovation Intent embraces three challenges, all of which every major concept, Grundfos launches over the next 20-30 years should meet:
CONCERN: Put sustainability first
CARE: Be there for a growing world
CREATE: Pioneer New Technologies
In other words, Grundfos will establish a substantial position in the growing markets by delivering superior sustainable solutions and offerings based on technology, the world has not yet seen. Perfectly aligned with our core values – being responsible, thinking ahead, and innovating – the Innovation Intent is a clear and bold statement of where and how Grundfos wants to develop its business. It is the ambition, that in 2025:
- Grundfos employs 75,000 people globally – today the number is 18,000
- 50% of our growth is coming from technology platforms that were not invented in 2007
- 1/3 of our turnover comes from other products than pumps
- We are still #1 in circulators and a specialist in sustainable solutions for housing
- We are specialists in selling directly to end-users within selected industrial segments and utilities
- We gravitate around local centres of excellence tapping into knowledge bases wherever they are
- We have become experts in translating user needs into new products and business concepts
- We are the first-choice workplace for the best and the brightest
Besides innovation work at the core, the company test new possibilities in Grundfos New Business which develops projects aimed at ensuring the limited resources of the earth will suffice for a rapidly growing population with increasing spending power, without destroying the environment.
I like this link between the overall corporate strategy and innovation and I definitely look forward to following Grundfos in the future. What do you think?
It would be great if you can share other cases on innovation strategies…
Stefan Lindegaard is a speaker, network facilitator and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, intrapreneurship and how to identify and develop the people who drive innovation.