Some of us remember the story of the 3 little pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. The story had always fascinated me. My take of the story was that the first two little pigs were quite dumb to think their choice of material for building a house will protect and save them from being eaten by the wolf.
I guess we can assume some of us were once like the first two little pigs where at a point in our personal or professional lives we have had to make decisions that were not so wise which made us run into trouble just like the first two unwise pigs because they did not want to go the extra mile thus they settled for choices that did not protect them.
Many Nigerian companies and organizations can be likened to the three little pigs operating in an environment that can be cast as the ‘Big Bad Wolf’; unfriendly, exhaustive and militating… just to put it nicely! Not minding the hostility of the environment, it is important that businesses have the appropriate knowledge about where they are operating in order to determine the best innovative solutions best suited at every point in time.
Understanding your market as an organization helps to make better decisions. As a business, ‘hitting the bulls eye’ in a market is just as easy as using straws to build your house like the first pig did in the story. It becomes more complex when you have to think of the consequences of your decisions and the short term winnings that will be attained. Sometimes there are no winnings at all- you end up being eaten by the big bad wolf. More so as socioeconomic conditions make choices harder it is imperative to understand what terrain is being threaded and how to deal with the harsh conditions that continue to huff and puff away until one’s business goes into obscurity.
Like the three pigs- who had plans as to how they were going to protect themselves from the wolf- most large businesses have an innovation process in place. Feeding the innovation funnel takes detailed devotion- a task companies never really pay attention to. Why? Low or Zero Budget is the common excuse to why their innovation process is faulty…
Having the right knowledge is like building your house with bricks, knowing what to do whenever the wolf comes calling is another advantage. Most organizations are unable to build an innovation process that translates into commercial success because their ideation processes are more internal than external. An effective innovation funnel is one that successfully takes latent insights and generates them into commercially viable products or service.
I dare say that generating the right kind of insights with the ability to ideate a winning product or service doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There’s a lot of research you can do on your own and without much budget. What’s important is knowing the exact information required and where and how to look. Sometimes the information you need may be within what you already know about your product/service, your competitors and the market. All that is needed is for your to drill further to find the patterns.
Regardless of the reason, failing to generate the right insights to feed your innovation funnel is like sentencing your product/service to death before it is even born. It will take only a huff and a puff and the straw house, the stick house will come crashing down and the big bad wolf will end up eating to his heart’s content.