10 Tips for Rationalizing Your Innovation Portfolio In The Face of A Downturn

Sharing a helpful article from Noel Sobelman, a colleague from my Kalypso days. He lays out a great framework for rationalizing your innovation portfolio in the face of a downturn.

Of his 10 tips, I’d underscore the importance of tip #2: Revisit your Innovation Strategy. With the massive changes we will likely be going to have over the next few years, taking a future-looking view of what ways you need to pivot your product and service offering, business model and day-to-day operational activities is critical.

Tip # 9, Don’t Throw Out the New-Growth Baby with the Bathwater, is particularly important too. The big growth drivers of the future usually start off looking like unappealing projects to big companies, as Clayton Christensen outlines in his classic The Innovator’s Dilemma.

As a build to what Noel writes about, while he provides great guidance for evaluating your innovation plans, it assumes you are still committed to pursuing innovation. That may not be your instinct in a downturn, as you may be inclined to only make cuts to survive. But remember, there is strong evidence that those companies that make smart investments in their innovation efforts during a recession come out of it much stronger than their peers who simply make cuts.

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