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A Question of Balance

Innovation Guru® Insight

In the pursuit of a higher level of Innovation, we wish to share a short Innovation Guru Insight with you each week. This week’s Innovation Guru Insight is:

A Question of Balance:

How often have you seen a team work so hard to implement a new program or launch a new product and think to yourself, "If only they would have spent a little time on the strategy for this particular program or product?" Sometimes we are in such a hurry to get things out the door that we fail to stop and ask such pertinent questions as: “Why are we doing this?”; “Will this new program or product really make a difference in the marketplace or community?”; and “How will this program or product help position our organization for the future?”

In other cases, we have seen a great deal of effort go into setting the right strategy for the program or product and then launching it into the marketplace with great fanfare only to find out that it doesn’t deliver what it had promised. Somewhere along the line, someone forgot to let operations know or, worse yet, ignored the operational requirements of the new program or product!

Still, in other cases, we have seen a team work hard on both the strategy and operational requirements of a new program or product only to forget or, worse yet, fail to communicate its benefits to the most important stakeholder--the customer. Often teams show us all the great work they have done and then, when asked how they let their customers or citizens know that the results of this great work were now available, they realize that they failed to pay adequate attention to their communications plan.

Great organizations know that balance is needed to succeed in the marketplace. They know that strategy, operations, and communications are equally important in launching a new product or program. Are you, as an Innovation Guru®, striving for and effectively striking a balance between strategy, operations, and communications?

Innovation Guru Insights is a regular column of The Innovation Journal. Insights are also offered as a free service via For more information, please contact Elaine Dundon or Alex Pattakos. Many of these insights highlight key examples, and tools included in Elaine Dundon’s new book, The Seeds of Innovation, published by the American Management Association (ISBN 0814471463).


Updated 31/07/02