Incremental innovation can help extend life
Sustainability versus innovation
Innovation needs an environment to trive. Innovation also wants to try things and get feedback quickly. It wants to make a lot of things wrong in order to find out whats right. It wants to repivot its strategy all the time. Your established operationas business units want the exact oposite. They want to keep the status quo at all costs! The challenge is to create an environment where both two currents can equally exist in in a symbiotic beviour to their full capacity.
Especially if your business has already developed assets (so you are not a startup) and you are trying to develop new products from those already running in "operational excelence", that operations better be agile/fast to adapt to the extention or transmission you are planing on. If your processes and system hold you hostage in long term release cicles for example, Innovation has a hard time in your organisation.
If you optimize for busy people, you get busy people
Another problematic influences is utilisation. Most companies are primarily resource-optimized. In an environment where people are busy keeping the status quo and being on the tasks 100%, innovation is considered a treat. The perception is that it is a burden and will come on top of work. No wonder, if everybody is already utilzed 100%.
Innovation is further more not for the few! It is something every individual in your organisation should be involved in. People are a lot more willing to operationalize something they are part of. Most problems accur because staff cannot identify with the "NEW".
Next obstacle is classical product launch planing horizon of sometimes one to several years, which cannot compete in todays fast paced market environments. Innovation needs a different approach. A "late" product innovation market entry might jeopardise reaching business objectives and causes a lot of stress to the organisation.
Organisations will need to adapt to the requirement of agile product releases and, in conjunction, plan and design minimum viable products (and product increments) that are able to scale in a mostly anyway already often existing incremental development environment.
What users want is changing very fast these days. Innovation needs to address these way shorter cicles and repivot their stategy regularly. This requires an environment which is both technological and phsychological able to deliver.
Filling the gap
By adapting the workflows, processes and internal communication of user representatives, as well as project sponsors and management to an agile production environment, the incremental way of thinking and other cultural changes help the organisation transform to a more agile organic system.
Planing the release of innovated products becomes less risky and the gap between the market need, respectively market acceptance and the state of product is much more likely to be smaller. In conjunction feedback from the market can be transformed into product features with less change and resistance compared to classical change management.