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Catch the Next Wave

The best products and services will become obsolete. Every market will eventually decline and disappear. This is a fact of business that every organization must embrace. Through no fault of your own, the steady advance of knowledge, technology, and human creativity will inevitably reform the way we think about the world and how we spend our time.

Innovation defines the human experience and dictates whether your organization will survive in the long term. History is riddled with stories of the dominant organization with seemingly invincible competitive advantage reduced to ashes by a scrappy start up with a transformative product. You’ve worked so hard to find a customer problem to solve, establish a culture around it, create competitive advantage, continuously adapt, and remove waste within your organization. All that’s left is to innovate with purpose, direction, and discipline so that your organization is not left in the dust when the next wave of customer needs makes landfall.

Why It Matters

Innovation is the last concept in The Way for good reason: it bridges the gap between the now and the next. It returns an organization back to the very first concept – putting customer problems at the center – by either finding the next customer problem to solve or by solving a current problem more effectively or efficiently.

Innovation creates competitive advantage. Why? As markets mature, they commoditize. This means what once was a revolutionary offer or product becomes standard. Your customers come to expect “the amazing” as “the normal”. This is because you’re not selling in a vacuum: competitors entered your market and neutralized your competitive advantage. And along with your diminished competitive advantage, so goes the price premium you command (i.e. profits). The one and only way out of this conundrum is to create something that your competitors cannot possibly recreate, either via a new offering or through a reimagined current offering.

You're Doing It Right If...

You have an established, transparent, and deliberate process to incubate, scale, manage, and sunset innovation.

You have selected a specific type of innovation that your organization will specialize in and purposefully avoid all others.

You are first to market in the types of innovation for the products or services you select and do not lose composure when a competitor beats you to market in a type of innovation you’ve avoided.


You innovate in all directions but are unable to bring any innovation to market in a timely manner.

You attempt to compete in resource-intensive, short-term ways to earn revenue such as: price discounts, marketing spend, and non-strategic acquisitions. Or, your strategy is to simply copy your competition.

You do not have a plan or fall short of upskilling your teams so that they can play a role in innovation at all levels and stages of a product or service.

Key Practices


You made it through all six concepts!

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