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Innovation&: Low hanging innovation ideas

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

Low hanging innovation ideas

Picture: Often, it's the ideas that are outside of one's own scope of thinking that lead to groundbreaking success

Innovation is the cornerstone of any forward-thinking company. However, all too often, companies opt for the path of least resistance and reach for the seemingly low hanging innovation ideas. These easily attainable ideas may promise short-term success but often lead to a problem: copy-and-paste innovations. Copy-and-paste innovations are similar to cloning attempts (the Netflix/Amazon/Uber of the x industry...). It involves copying what has already worked, often, in the worst case, from competitors, and hoping for similar results. The problem with this approach is that it promotes innovation at a superficial level while genuine creativity and profound changes are left behind. Companies that rely too heavily on "low-hanging fruits" risk stagnation in the long run.

Those who start innovation too late must show results too quickly

Another erroneous criterion for "low-hanging fruits" is the time component. Companies that join the innovation process too late put themselves under pressure to achieve results quickly. The pursuit of quick successes can lead to the pursuit of ideas that are not necessarily promising but can be implemented rapidly. Or critical steps in the innovation process may be skipped. Ideas may not be adequately validated, and long-term strategic alignment can be neglected. The pursuit of short-term gains at the expense of long-term competitiveness is a trap that should be avoided.

Too few divergent ideas and minds lead to copy-and-paste innovations.

The "low-hanging fruits" attract hungry competitors just the same

Companies should realize that "low-hanging fruits" are not exclusive to them. Hungry competitors often have the same ideas in mind, access to the same technologies, and are willing to invest resources and efforts to implement them. The result is a race where it's challenging to gain a true competitive advantage. It's crucial to recognize that true innovation often lies in the higher-hanging, less obvious ideas. These may require more effort and risk, but they also offer the opportunity to develop unique ideas that outshine the competition.

Diverse ideation teams are essential

To discover the best ideas and delve deep into the pool of ideas, diversity is crucial. Diverse ideation teams are like a room full of mousetraps, into which an object falls. Each mousetrap represents a unique perspective of an individual, and the object triggers the creativity of other members as a symbolic idea. In such teams, different ways of thinking, backgrounds, and experiences collide. This diversity leads to a creative melting pot where ideas can emerge from the most unexpected sources. Diversity fosters divergent thinking, which in turn paves the way for innovative solutions.

Conclusion - Low hanging innovation ideas

The pursuit of "low-hanging fruits" in innovation is tempting but carries risks. Companies should be aware that true innovation is often hidden in the higher-hanging fruits. It takes time, effort, and diversity to reach these fruits, but the rewards can be groundbreaking. Innovation should not be limited to superficial copies but should aim for the creation of new ideas and the development of unique solutions. Only in this way can companies remain competitive in the long term and fully reap the rewards of innovation.


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