To achieve growth goals by making innovation repeatable and reliable, companies need to go beyond isolated programs to develop a system of enablers working together in an integrated way, according to Scott Anthony and David Duncan in their book Building a Growth Factory. Serious commitment from the company’s top leadership and dedicated resources are required to build the growth factory’s foundations.
Most companies do not have extensive resources devoted to the management of innovation. For most business leaders, innovation is something that happens by serendipity; inspiration is not something that can be controlled and predicted. However, as the authors argue quite persuasively, innovation can be planned, fostered, managed and controlled. Vastly greater benefits can be gained if there are systems in place to encourage, measure and regulate the innovation process.
The authors advocate a “growth factory” which includes as key components: a growth blueprint detailing growth types, goals and guidelines; production systems for transforming ideas into businesses; governance and controls; and leadership, talent and culture. Each of these are specified in the book to a level of detail that the average business leader might find intimidating; but at the end of the book there are some handy hints on how to get things started from a low base.
Many businesses are being hit by digital disruption and changes brought on by new technology and other forces. There are plenty of books proclaiming that innovation is the only way forward, but most of them simply leave the typical business owner feeling worried and guilty. This book stands out from the crowd by presenting in a very concise manner a detailed and achievable strategy for creating a business that continually reinvents itself.